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A Tennessee mother recently filed a new Instant Pot lawsuit against Instant Brands, Inc., on behalf of her young son. She claims that when she was using the pot, it malfunctioned, exploded, and burned her son. She brings counts of strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranties, and seeks both compensatory and punitive damages.

Pressure Cooker Explodes, Burning Plaintiff’s Son

According to the complaint, the plaintiff’s family friend purchased a new Instant Pot Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker from Walmart on October 25, 2019.

About a year later, on October 22, 2020, the plaintiff was using the cooker when it malfunctioned. She was able to rotate and open the cooker’s lid while it was still under pressure—something the safety mechanisms are supposed to prevent. That allowed the scalding hot contents in the cooker to explode out and onto the plaintiff and her minor son, causing him catastrophic burn injuries.

The plaintiff notes that the defendant touts the safety of its pressure cookers, stating they cannot be opened while in use, even though they can be. She also states that the defendant knew or should have known about the pressure cooker’s defects, yet the company failed to warn consumers of the risks.

Instant Brands Advertises Its Cookers as Safe

Instant Brands, Inc. advertises its cookers as perfect for health-minded individuals. It warrants its cookers as convenient, dependable, and safe, allowing consumers to cook healthy, tasty dishes.

The Instant Pot is designed with a safety feature that is supposed to disable the cooker and display a flashing light if the lid is not positioned correctly. The company advertises its cookers on multiple media platforms, including YouTube.

In one of its videos, the spokesperson states that “you don’t need to be afraid” of the cooker because it has 10 safety features built-in. The company adds that “you can use your Instant Pot with confidence, knowing it is not going to explode.”

In another video, spokesperson Laura Pazzaglia, founder of the website “Hip Pressure Cooking,” boasts of the pressure cooker’s 10 safety features, stating that it detects the position of the lid and once the lid is locked and the contents under pressure, “there’s no way to open the pressure cooker.”

Instant Pot Owner’s Manual Details Safety Features

In the owner’s manual, as well, Instant Brands outlines the Instant Pot’s safety features. The plaintiff states that the manual misleads the consumer into believing that the cooker is reasonably safe for normal, intended use.

Yet the cooker was defectively and negligently designed, the plaintiff continues, as it failed to properly function to prevent the lid from being removed while the unit remained pressurized.

“Defendant knew or should have known that its pressure cookers possessed defects that pose a serious safety risk to Plaintiff and the public,” the complaint reads. “Nevertheless, Defendants continue to ignore and/or conceal its knowledge of the pressure cookers’ defects from the general public….”

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