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A Washington woman recently filed a new Bella pressure cooker lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle. The plaintiff claims that when using the pressure cooker, she was seriously injured. She includes with her case a copy of the defendant’s owner’s manual, which she claims illustrates safety mechanisms that did not work as expected.

Bella Pressure Cooker Safety Valve Didn’t Work as Advertised

According to her complaint, the plaintiff was using her pressure cooker to prepare a meal on May 24, 2018th. While she was doing that, she was able to rotate and open the pressure cooker’s lid while the cooker was still under pressure. The lid flew off and the scalding hot contents in the cooker were forcefully ejected onto the plaintiff. She incurred significant bodily injuries and has had to undergo physical pain and mental anguish because of the incident.

The plaintiff blames the defective safety valve on the cooker. The manufacturer—Sensio, Inc., d.b.a. Bella—stated in its advertisements that its cooker featured an extremely safe and secure locking system, including a safety valve that supposedly created “added safety control.”

According to the owner’s manual, which accompanies each unit sold, the pressure cooker’s safety valve keeps the lid from being opened once the unit is pressurized. Specifically, the manual reads, “When cooking under pressure the pressure cooker cannot be opened once pressure is reached. Do not try to force the lid open.”

The plaintiff states in the complaint that she and her family purchased the cooker with the reasonable expectation that it was properly designed and manufactured, and free from defects. Yet she later discovered that it failed to operate as expected because the lid was able to be opened while the cooker was still under pressure.

The plaintiff states that Bella should have known about this defect, yet it did nothing to warn consumers about the risks.

Bella Cookers Recalled for Burn Hazards in the Past

Bella Housewares manufacturers several small kitchen appliances, including pressure cookers and multi-cookers. For these cookers to operate correctly, the valve on the lid must work to allow steam to escape. If the steam doesn’t escape, pressure can build up inside the cooker, potentially resulting in an explosion.

Pressure cookers can also explode if the seal on the lid doesn’t work like it’s supposed to, or if the lid fails to lock down in a sealed position. Back in 2007, television shopping network, HSN, recalled about 8,300 Bella Cucina Zip Cookers because of a burn hazard. HSN had received seven reports of incidents resulting in eight injuries, including first-, second-, and third-degree burns. HSN advised consumers to stop using the cookers immediately and contact HSN for a full refund.

In 2017, CBS News reported on pressure cookers that have exploded, detailing pages of complaints to the CPSC about malfunctioning safety features.

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