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Multi-Cooker and Pressure Cooker Injury Attorney in Boston

When you buy a new appliance, you assume that it's been properly designed, manufactured, and tested so that it's safe for use in your home.

Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Days before Thanksgiving in 2020, Sunbeam Products Inc. recalled nearly a million of its Crock-Pot brand multi-cookers due to faulty lids. The lid on the device can suddenly detach during use and eject boiling food and liquid.

If you or a family member has been seriously injured by a defective multi-cooker, pressure cooker, instant pot, or other kitchen appliance, the product liability attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman can help.

Our law firm takes cases under a contingency fee agreement, which means that you pay nothing until we win your case and recover money for you.

Facts and Figures about the Crock-Pot Multi-Cooker Recall

The Crock-Pot 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cooker can pressurize when the lid is not locked, allowing the lid to detach without warning while the cooker is in use and causing hot food and liquid to spray out.

The multicooker is manufactured by Sunbeam, which issued a recall for the defective units on Nov. 24, 2020.

How do you know if your multi-cooker is part of the recall? The defective multi-cookers were manufactured between July 1, 2017, and Oct. 1, 2018, and contain date codes K196JN through K365JN and L001JN through L273JN. You can locate the date code on one of the prongs of the electrical plug and on the bottom of the unit's base.

More than 914,000 units have been recalled in the United States, and more than 28,000 sold in Canada. The appliances were sold online on Amazon and at various retail stores, including Target and Walmart.

Sunbeam has reportedly received 119 reports of lids detaching during use, resulting in 99 burn injuries, including third-degree burns.

If you have one of these units, you should stop using the multi-cooker and contact Crock-Pot for a free replacement lid.

You can read more about the recall on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's website. The CPSC is an independent government agency that creates product safety standards and guidelines for manufacturers of consumer goods.

If you're unsure whether a product you own has been recalled, you can check at www.recalls.gov.

Steps to Take If You've Been Injured by a Defective Multi-Cooker or Pressure Cooker

If you've been seriously injured by a multi-cooker or pressure cooker, get medical attention as soon as possible and save all medical bills. Photograph your injuries and continue to do so throughout the healing process. Also, take photos of the malfunctioning pressure cooker and accident site.

Hold onto the defective appliance as well as the box and any manuals or printed instructions. It's also a good idea to put aside the clothes that you were wearing when you were injured, especially if they show where you were splattered with hot food and liquid.

Contact a product liability lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your legal rights.

Numerous Product Liability Suits Have Been Filed over the Crock-Pot Multi-Cooker

To date, several product liability lawsuits have been filed against Sunbeam over the exploding Crock-Pot multi-cookers.

In January of 2020, Illinois resident Kimberly Rife filed a class-action lawsuit against Sunbeam in Florida federal court. Rife v. Sunbeam Products Inc., No. 20-cv-80021 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 7, 2020).

Rife alleges that she was injured in 2018 when using a Crock-Pot Express Pressure Cooker in pressure mode to make soup for her family. She says she released the unit's pressure via the steam release valve, pressed the stop button after the steam had stopped, and waited before opening the lid as per instructions in the owner's guide.

"When she easily twisted and opened the lid, the scalding hot contents exploded out of the pot, spraying her hand, wrist and stomach, and her surrounding kitchen area," according to the lawsuit.

Rife maintains that she sustained first- and second-degree burns and received medical treatment for her injuries. She "endured a long period of pain and suffering" and has scarring from the incident, the suit says.

Rife alleges that her experience is similar to those experienced by other consumers. The lawsuit includes screenshots of complaints about the pressure cooker posted on Amazon's website.

The suit asserts numerous causes of action, including breach of express and implied warranties in violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2301, negligence, unjust enrichment, and strict product liability. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal law that governs consumer product warranties. These claims are common to pressure cooker lawsuits.

Rife says the pressure cooker was defective in design and manufacture as she was able to open the lid when the appliance was still pressurized. She alleges that Sunbeam knew or should have known about the defect and that consumers would not have purchased the appliance if they had known of its dangers.

The lawsuit seeks to represent a nationwide class of consumers who have purchased the Crock-Pot Express Pressure Cooker.

Rife's daughter, Nicolle Kainrath, who purchased the pressure cooker as a gift for her mother, is also named as a plaintiff in the suit.

Rife seeks an unspecified amount of damages for her medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and anxiety.

A personal injury attorney will be able to tell you whether you have a valid pressure cooker lawsuit. An attorney can also advise whether it would be more advantageous for you to pursue relief by filing an individual lawsuit instead of through a class action.

While Rife's case is still making its way through the court system, several verdicts and settlements have been made in other pressure cooker lawsuits. One of the most notable cases involved the family of a 2-year-old child who suffered serious burns from an exploding pressure cooker in 2015. The family settled their case against the product manufacturer for $27 million.

Common Multi-Cooker and Pressure Cooker Defects

The most common type of defects in multi-cookers and pressure cookers are:

  • Defective cooker gaskets that allow the unit to be opened while it is being operated at high pressure.
  • Inadequate lid seals allow for liquid to spill and be propelled from the cooker, especially after a buildup of steam and heat.
  • Defects that prevent the cooker from properly venting steam.

When a problem occurs with a defective multi-cooker or pressure cooker, the lid can fly off the unit and cause serious injury to anyone standing nearby. Boiling liquid and food can be expelled, causing severe burns.

In addition to the Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker, many other brands and types of pressure cookers have been recalled. Products sold under the brands Breville, Cook's Essentials, Cuisinart, Maxi-Matic, Fagor, and HSN, to name a few, have been recalled and have been the subject of product liability suits.

Plaintiffs in product liability suits often sue a number of companies involved in the manufacture, sale, and marketing of the defective product. This includes part manufacturers, as well as stores where the item was purchased.

In Massachusetts, there is a three-year statute of limitations to file a product liability claim. It is essential that you contact a lawyer before the statute of limitations expiring or you will be unable to pursue a claim for your injuries.

Other types of kitchen appliances that have been recalled and pose burn dangers to consumers include dutch ovens, coffee makers, electric teapots, and countertop ovens and broilers.

Defective pressure cookers and other kitchen appliances also have been known to cause electric shock.

Defective Multi-Cookers and Pressure Cookers Can Cause Serious Burn Injuries

When you consider that the liquid inside a pressure cooker can reach a temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit, it's not hard to imagine that a defective multi-cooker or pressure cooker can cause severe burns.

Not only are burns painful, but they can leave an accident victim with permanent scarring and disfigurement. Serious burns that aren't properly treated can become infected and lead to additional health problems.

There are three types of burns:

  • First-degree burns affect only the outer layer of the skin and often cause redness and pain.
  • Second-degree burns affect the first and second layers of skin and cause swelling, red or splotchy skin, and blisters. These burns can be extremely painful and can cause scarring.
  • Third-degree burns extend to the fat layer located beneath the skin. These burn areas can be black, brown, or white and can destroy nerves and cause numbness.

In the most severe cases, skin grafts are needed to repair burn damage.

Complications from burns can cause:

  • Bacterial infection, which in turn can cause a bloodstream infection, or sepsis
  • Fluid loss and low blood volume, also known as hypovolemia
  • Low body temperature or hypothermia
  • Scarring
  • Bone and joint problems

To learn more about how our product liability attorneys can help you with your multi-cooker or pressure cooker claim, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC today at (617) 777-7777 or through our online form.

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