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woman's hand pressing pressure cooker button to begin cooking.

A Mississippi woman recently filed a new pressure cooker lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. She named Conair Corporation, d/b/a/ Cuisinart, as the defendant.

She claims that after she used Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker as instructed, it malfunctioned and caused her to suffer from serious injuries. She seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Plaintiff Claims She Was Burned by Malfunctioning Cuisinart Cooker

According to her complaint, the plaintiff was using her Cuisinart pressure cooker on April 3, 2020, for its intended purpose of preparing meals for herself and/or her family. The cooker was defectively designed and manufactured however, she claims, because she was able to rotate and open the lid while the cooker was still under pressure.

This allowed the scalding hot contents to be forcefully ejected from the cooker onto the plaintiff. She suffered from serious and substantial burn injuries as a result, including burns to her chest.

Cuisinart Advertises Safety Devices

According to the owner’s manual that accompanies each unit sold, the Cuisinart cooker had seven safety devices installed to assure its reliability. The plaintiff says this and other similar statements misled her into believing that the cooker was reasonably safe for its normal, intended use.

The said “safety devices” included the following:

  • Open-and-close lid safety device: The appliance will not start pressurizing until the lid is closed and locked properly.
  • Pressure control device: The correct pressure level is automatically maintained during the cooking cycle.
  • Pressure limit valve: The pressure limit valve will release air automatically when the pressure inside exceeds the preset temperature.
  • Anti-block cover: Prevents any food material from blocking the pressure limit valve.
  • Pressure relief device: When the pressure cooker reaches the maximum allowable pressure and temperature, the cooker will move down until the lid separates from the sealing ring, releasing air pressure.
  • Thermal fuse: The circuit will be opened when the pressure cooker reaches the maximum temperature.

The owner’s manual further claims that if the raised red float indicates the user is cooking under pressure, the lid will be double-locked and cannot be opened. It further states that when pressure is fully released, the pressure indicator will drop and the lid will unlock to open.

The plaintiff claims that her Cuisinart cooker failed to function properly. It did not prevent the lid from being removed with normal force while the unit remained pressurized, despite the appearance that all the pressure had been released:

“Defendant Cuisinart’s pressure cookers possess defects that make them unreasonably dangerous for their intended use by consumers because the lid can be rotated and opened while the unit remains pressurized.”

The plaintiff goes on to state that the defendant was aware that its pressure cookers were defective, but still subjected consumers to the risk of serious and permanent injury from their use.

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