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Pressure Cooker in a Kitchen setting

Two Florida residents recently filed Tristar pressure cooker lawsuits in the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District in Walton County. They both claim that after using the Tristar Power Pressure Cooker, they suffered from serious injuries.

Plaintiffs Burned by Exploding Pressure Cookers

In the first case, the plaintiff states that she was using the Tristar Power Pressure Cooker on March 16, 2019, when she opened the lid. Unbeknownst to her, the cooker was still under pressure at the time, and the contents exploded onto the plaintiff. She suffered from serious and substantial bodily injuries and damages.

The second plaintiff tells a similar story. She was using the cooker on March 19, 2019, when she was able to open the lid while the cooker was still under pressure. Its scalding hot contents were forcefully ejected onto her, causing serious injuries.

Both plaintiffs blame the cooker’s defective safety features for their injuries.

Tristar Safety Feature Fails to Work as Advertised

Tristar advertises its pressure cookers as being designed with several built-in safety features meant to prevent injuries such as these two plaintiffs suffered. One of those features is the “lid safety device,” which is intended to prevent the unit from building pressure if the lid isn’t closed properly, and to prevent the lid from being opened until all the pressure in the unit is released.

Tristar heavily advertised this feature, going so far as to feature culinary expert Eric Theiss in its YouTube videos and television infomercial. In these videos, Theiss demonstrates the lid safety feature, noting that the lid locks once the pressure has built up and stating, “I couldn’t get this lid open if I wanted to. There’s no way you’re gonna open it.”

Tristar also stated in its “Frequently Asked Questions” YouTube video that the lid on the cooker would come off only if there was no pressure inside.

Despite this safety feature, both plaintiffs were able to open the lid while the cookers were still under pressure. When this happens, the pressure trapped in the cooker releases abruptly, causing the hot food to explode into the surrounding area and onto unsuspecting customers and/or any bystanders.

The plaintiffs claim that Tristar failed to warn about this defect, and failed to recall the cookers after reports of injuries such as theirs.

Tristar Could Have Used Safer Alternative Designs

The plaintiffs note in their complaints that there were safer alternative designs available that would have prevented the pressure cooker’s lid from being opened while the unit was still under pressure. Tristar could have designed the cooker with a longer locking pin, for instance, or a lid shield with fewer holes for steam passage, with those holes positioned as far away as possible from the manual release and floating valves to reduce the likelihood of clogging.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has received several reports of other similar incidents stemming from the failure of the Power Pressure Cooker and other pressure cooker models with the same built-in safety features.

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