Electric pressure cookers were among 2017’s hottest holiday gifts, but not all pressure cookers are created equal and some consumers have suffered severe burn injuries from electric pressure cookers they allege to be defective.
At least 20 lawsuits have been filed against Tristar Products Inc., alleging that its Tristar Power Pressure Cooker XL and some of its other electric pressure cooker models caused burn injuries, the Daily Hornet reports. Recently, 12 plaintiffs who claim they were injured by Tristar pressure cookers have joined a pair of lawsuits filed in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas) Civil Trial Division.
According to the complaints, Tristar advertises that its Power Pressure Cookers are designed with built-safety features that prevent the risk of explosion and burn injuries that made the old-fashioned pressure cookers popular in the 1950s and ’60s go out of style.
Among the safety features that Tristar says its electronic pressure cookers are equipped with is a “lid safety lock” that is supposed to prevent consumers from being able to open the lid while the contents are still under pressure. The allegedly defective lid can be opened prematurely, plaintiffs claim, resulting in an explosion of scalding-hot food, liquid, and steam.
Contents of a pressure cooker reach temperatures up to 248 degrees F (120 degrees) — hotter than the boiling point of water, so the threat of burn injuries from these pressure cookers is very real.
According to the Daily Hornet, one plaintiff from Texas said she was making dinner for her family in a Tristar Pressure Cooker her husband gave her as a gift. After 45 minutes, she heard a beep and turned the pressure release valve to de-pressurize the cooker. She started twisting the lid open when steam no longer was coming out of the vent, but the scalding hot contents blasted out of the pot, covering her kitchen and leaving her with serious burn injuries to her chest, breasts, neck, and arms that required hospitalization.
Several other plaintiffs claim the same thing or something similar happened when they tried to open their Tristar pressure cookers. Almost all of the consumers suing the company suffered burn injuries.
According to the Daily Hornet, “Tristar is accused of putting profits ahead of safety by continuing to sell the Power Pressure Cooker and failing to recall it after consumers reported the defective lid.” Lawyers representing those who claim they were harmed say that Tristar is negligent because it failed to warn consumers about the safety hazards.