Pressure cooker accidents and explosions

Pressure cookers are food preparation devices which utilize a pressurized chamber (kept sealed by special lids) and electricity to heat up water to well beyond boiling temperatures while the food ingredients inside are quickly cooked.

The combination of pressure and highly-heated water (among other possible liquids depending on what is being cooked) is not only a recipe for nutritious food cooked fast, it is also a recipe for potential disaster – as unfortunately too many people have learned through experience.

Injuries caused by malfunctioning pressure cookers can range from superficial, minor burns to life-altering third degree burns that can permanently scar and disfigure victims. Many of these injuries may occur from incorrect use of pressure cookers, but other accidents have occurred in recent years that have led to lawsuits against certain pressure cooker manufacturers.

These lawsuits allege that there are serious design flaws in some of these cookers that enable the lid to become compromised, allowing the scolding hot contents to explode out of the pressurized chamber and burn those using the cooker.

Tristar pressure cooker the subject of multiple suits

The “Power Pressure Cooker XL,” manufactured by Tristar Products, is one of the few “As Seen on TV” pressure cooker products available. In its advertisements, the cooker is touted to be almost miraculous in how quickly it can deliciously prepare a huge range of different foods. The product even makes a point to tout how safe it is, with a special lid that locks and prevents opening until the cooking is done.

However, people have filed claims against Tristar in recent years because of serious allegations that the cooker has a design flaw which leads the cooker to exploding randomly and without warning, hurling its dangerously-hot contents everywhere and burning the consumer.

The first lawsuit against Tristar was filed on June 12, 2015 by a Texas couple who had unplugged the cooker, only to have the lid explode a full two hours later, sending boiling liquid and pinto beans flying at them. The wife wound up spending 20 days in the hospital to treat her severe burns.

Just a couple weeks later, a Florida couple experienced almost the exact same thing; the lid of their Power Pressure Cooker XL blowing off for seemingly no reason. Both the wife and husband incurred burns as a result of this.

Faulty products are a hazard to public safety

Outside of egregious user error, which shouldn’t be reasonably possible when dealing with a product that is specifically advertised for its ease of use, these incidents could only have occurred because of a faulty product design.

If a lid, again specifically advertised as being a safely-locking lid, can randomly blow off the top of the cooker, there is something horribly and dangerously wrong with the design or manufacturing of this product. Some of the lawsuits involve cases where the operators did not interfere with the product in any incorrect way, and yet the product failed regardless.

No official recalls have been announced as a result of these lawsuits, and Tristar has not made a public announcement regarding the potential dangers of their pressure cookers.

If you or somebody you love has been injured by a pressure cooker accident – whether it was a Tristar product or other brand of cooker – you may be entitled to financial compensation to help pay for any medical treatment that you required as a result, in addition to collecting damages for pain and suffering and time missed at work.

At Altman & Altman LLP, we have over 40 years of experience litigating on behalf of people who were injured due to faulty products, negligent manufacturers and acts out of their control. Call us for a free consultation today at 617-492-3000 or toll-free at 800-481-6199. We are available 24/7.


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