In January 2021, Joshua Lee Summers, a man from Indiana, filed a legal complaint against Instant Brands, Inc. for burn injuries resulting from an explosion of the “Instant Pot Duo Nova” model. The accident happened when the in-built safety features completely failed to avert the lid from getting accidentally removed when the food was still under pressure.
Despite being marketed as a secure appliance with innovative safety mechanisms, Instant Pot pressure cookers are in the news for facing lawsuits due to scalding injuries and explosions. Summer’s product liability lawsuit claims that the brand was aware of this defect but failed to share the information with customers to retain profits.
There are a number of such tragic accounts. In March 2023, Al.com shared the story of lawyers representing Delia Ann McGee in a lawsuit against Instant Brands. The lawsuit claimed that McGee suffered severe bodily injuries due to the brand’s IP-LUX Electric Pressure Cooker explosion. Owing to a design flaw that made the cooker’s lid open, the hot content was forcefully ejected out. McGee’s lawsuit sought punitive and compensatory damages.
Pressure cooker explosions can lead to severe injuries, making a person unable to work or even causing death. In this article, we will talk about how to avoid these injuries and shed light on how to file a lawsuit if you have faced a pressure cooker explosion.
Filing a Lawsuit for Pressure Cooker Accidents and Explosions
New-age electronic pressure cookers are gaining popularity and are marketed as secure devices, supposedly not prone to explosions. However, upon closer examination, most Instant Pot burn lawsuit cases reveal a common theme: accidents caused by the accidental removal of the lid when the food inside the pot is under high pressure. Other injuries resulting from pressure cooker incidents include broken bones, eye injuries, and various complications due to explosions, spills, and electrical malfunctions.
According to TorHoerman Law, individuals who have experienced a pressure cooker explosion should first seek medical attention to address their physical injuries. During this process, it is essential to retain all evidence and medical records of the injuries and the resulting harm. For instance, if an eye injury led to blindness or a temporary loss of wages, the victim should keep a complete record of such incidents.
Videos and images can serve as useful pieces of evidence. Afterward, they should contact a lawyer and provide them with all the evidence to prepare a strong case for recovering damages.
How Can You Avoid Instant Pot Explosions and Injuries?
Getting injured from a pressure cooker explosion is never pleasant. The increasing number of lawsuits points towards inherent defects in the cooker. Maintaining caution is essential. A few smart guidelines that can help are:
Check The Device Before Starting Cooking
Before switching on the pressure cooker, it is necessary to check the device and examine the rubber gasket. Ensure that the rubber gasket doesn’t have any cracks or signs of wear or tear. Some pressure cooker brands recommend changing the rubber gasket once a year, but the frequency of use should also be considered when determining when to replace it.
It’s a good idea to keep a spare rubber gasket handy in case you need to urgently replace a faulty or ripped gasket. Avoid leaving any dried food around the rim as it can damage the gasket.
Never Overfill the Instant Pot
Excess liquid can lead to maximum pressure inside the cooker. Overfilling traps the food within the cooker’s pressure release vent, resulting in an explosion. It is essential to provide a proper escape route for the steam. While electric cookers may have built-in safety features to turn off in such situations, stove-top pressure cookers can explode and cause bodily injuries.
Don’t Open the Cooker Lid Before the Pressure Gets Released
The natural release is suitable for foods that require further cooking and avoids the danger of a rapid release. Lowering the pressure within the pot before opening is essential to prevent an explosion, especially when forced open. Few experts suggest waiting for 10 minutes before opening the lid, while others recommend waiting for about 30 minutes to allow the pressure to fully dissipate from the pot.
Instant Pot and other electronic pressure cookers are gaining popularity and so are the accidents related to them. Therefore, users should exercise the required precautions for averting probable burn injuries. It is necessary to carefully inspect the device, making sure that the rubber gasket stays in good condition. But avoiding overfill is necessary to bring down the risks of such accidents.
Having a clear understanding of pressure release tactics, like natural release, can prevent such accidents. It is necessary to make safety the utmost priority while using any kitchen device and appliance. There is no guarantee that you will never experience a cooker pot explosion. In case there is an explosion, despite maintaining preventive measures, individuals should seek both medical and legal assistance.