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Cooking borscht in electric multi cooker.

Another pressure cooker lawsuit was recently filed by a Colorado woman against Sunbeam Products, Inc., the makers of the Crock-Pot Express Crock Multicooker. She claims that while using the product, she suffered from serious injuries. She seeks compensation for her injuries, economic losses, and pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages, if applicable.

Plaintiff Claims Cooker’s Lid Could Be Opened While Cooker Under Pressure

According to her complaint, the plaintiff was cooking with her Crock-Pot pressure cooker on February 14, 2020, when she got hurt. She was preparing a meal for herself and/or her family and believed the product to be safe for this intended use.

Instead, she was able to rotate and open the cooker’s lid while the cooker was still under pressure. This allowed the scalding hot contents to be forcefully ejected onto her. She suffered serious and substantial burn injuries as a result.

She claims that the incident occurred because of the failure of the cooker’s supposed safety features, which were advertised as keeping the consumer safe while using the cooker.

Crock-Pot Owner’s Manual Touts Safety Features

The plaintiff notes that Sunbeam aggressively advertises its cookers as designed with safety in mind. She refers to the owner’s manual that comes with the cooker, which says that the product includes safety sensors to keep the lid from being opened while the unit is under pressure.

The manual states that “pressure will not build if the lid is not shut correctly and has not sealed,” and that “once the pressure increases, the lid cannot be opened.”

Sunbeam’s Crock-Pot website also claimed that consumers can “cook with confidence” because the “airtight locking lid remains locked while pressure is inside the unit.”

Sunbeam Recalls Crock-Pot Pressure Cookers for Burn Hazard

On November 24, 2020, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of nearly one million Crock-Pot 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cookers, including the plaintiff’s pressure cooker, because of burn hazards.

The recalled cookers, the CPSC stated, “can pressurize when the lid is not fully locked. This can cause the lid to suddenly detach while the product is in use, posing burn risks to consumers from hot food and liquids ejected from the product.”

At the time of the recall, Sunbeam had received 119 reports of the lid detaching while the cooker was in use, resulting in 99 burn injuries ranging in severity from first-degree to third-degree burns.

Sunbeam urged consumers to immediately stop using the products in pressure cooker mode, noting they could still be used for slow cooking and sauteing. It offered consumers a free replacement lid intended to solve the problem.

The plaintiff argues that Sunbeam knew or should have known of these defects, but put profit ahead of safety by continuing to sell its cookers, failing to warn consumers of the risks, and failing to initiate a more timely recall.

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