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closeup of a woman pressing button on a pressure cooker with the lid open on kitchen counter

A Tennessee woman recently filed a new pressure cooker lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. She claims that after using the Breville Fast Slow Cooker Pressure Cooker Model BPR600XL, she suffered from serious injuries.

The plaintiff names Breville USA, Inc. as the only defendant and seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Plaintiff Badly Injured After Pressure Cooker Allegedly Exploded

According to her complaint, the plaintiff was using the Breville pressure cooker to prepare a roast on June 5, 2022. After the cooking cycle, she opened the pressure release valve and waited several minutes for the steam to release. She saw the steam was still releasing and manually released more via another button at the back of the pressure cooker.

She waited several more minutes until it appeared all the steam had been released. When she tried to open the lid, however, the cooker exploded and the lid blew off with extreme force. This, despite the failsafe devices supposedly integrated as part of the design of the pressure cooker.

As it exploded, the cooker sprayed scalding hot liquid and steam across the plaintiff’s body. She suffered permanent injuries to her abdomen that have caused her pain and suffering.

Pressure Cooker Negligently Designed and Manufactured

Like many other pressure cookers, the Breville pressure cooker is advertised as being safe to use. According to the instruction manual, a “safety locking lid” keeps the lid from opening once pressurized. On page 8, specifically, the manual says, “Safety Locking Lid: Cannot be opened while pressure cooking.”

According to the plaintiff, this statement is “unequivocally false.” The design of the cooker, she adds, allowed her to remove the li with built-up pressure still inside of the unit. She blames the manufacturer for marketing and promoting the product even though it has dangerous defects, and for negligently and defectively designing it in the first place.

How Modern-Day Pressure Cookers Can Cause Injuries

This is one of many similar lawsuits pending in U.S. courts concerning defectively designed pressure cookers. Many other manufacturers are currently defending these cases, including Tristar, Wolfgang Puck, Sunbeam (Crock-Pot), Instant Pot, and others.

Manufacturers include components in the cookers meant to keep consumers safe. These include lid locks and steam gauges. But if these parts are defective, badly constructed, or damaged during the manufacturing process, they may not work as expected.

Common problems with these mechanisms that have been noted in pressure cooker lawsuits include:

  • Faulty pressure release valves. The pressure isn’t completely released, causing the cooker to explode.
  • Faulty or broken seals. They fail to keep the cooker air-tight, causing other mechanisms to malfunction.
  • Safety valves and pins. If these don’t operate as expected, they can lead to an explosion.

Because the materials inside a pressure cooker become scalding hot, when the cookers explode, they can cause severe injuries. These may include second-and third-degree burns that result in permanent scarring.

Back in 2015, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of about 35,600 Breville Fast Slow Cookers because of sealing gasket problems. At the time of the recall, the company was aware of five reports of steam and hot contents escaping from the cookers, resulting in five reports of burns, including second-degree burns to the hands, arms, or stomach.

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