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A slow cooker filled with a meaty curry

A Texas woman recently filed a new pressure cooker lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. She claims that while using the Crock-Pot Express Crock Multicooker, she was seriously injured. She brings claims of strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranties, and seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Plaintiff Suffered Burns When Pressure Cooker Exploded

According to her complaint, the plaintiff was using her Crock-Pot on August 22, 2020, when she suffered serious and substantial burn injuries.

She states that she was able to rotate and open the lid on the pressure cooker while it was still under pressure, even though the safety mechanisms were supposed to prevent that from happening. This allowed the scalding hot contents in the cooker to be forcefully ejected onto the plaintiff.

She adds that the incident occurred as a result of the failure of the cooker’s supposed “built-in safety features” that purport to keep the consumer safe while using the cooker.

Defendant Was Using a Recalled Crock-Pot

Sunbeam designs, manufacturers, markets, distributes, and sells a wide range of consumer products, including the Crock-Pot Express Crock Multicooker, including the one the plaintiff used.

The manufacturer touts that its pressure cookers are designed “with safety in mind” with features like “safety sensors” that are supposed to keep the lid from being opened while the unit is under pressure.

Despite Sunbeam’s claims of “safety,” the company sold a product that suffered from serious and dangerous defects, according to the plaintiff. Indeed, the company recalled its Crock-Pot 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cooker—a recall that included the plaintiff’s pressure cooker—because it could pressurize when the lid was not fully locked.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall on November 24, 2020—just a few months after the plaintiff’s injury. The agency noted that the defect in the product could “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 lid detachment, resulting in 99 burn injuries ranging in severity from first-degree to third-degree burns.

The recall included nearly 1 million products that were manufactured between July 1, 2017 and October 1, 2018, with date codes K196Jn through K365Jn and L001JN through L273JN. The CPSC advised consumers to immediately stop using the recalled pressure cookers in pressure cooker mode, though they could continue using them for slow cooking and sautéing.

Be Cautious When Using a Pressure Cooker

This case joins a growing number of other pressure cooker lawsuits filed across the country. In addition to Sunbeam, other manufacturers including Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, and more are facing similar complaints of the pots exploding and burning consumers.

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