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Six Sue Tristar for Exploding Pressure Cooker Injuries

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Philadelphia, PAOn September 19, 2017, six burn victims filed a lawsuit against Tristar Products, Inc. in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. They claimed they were hurt when their Tristar pressure cooker’s advertised “Built-In Safety Features” failed. All of the incidents cited in In Re: Kenneth Christian, et al. v. Tristar Products Inc. involve the same pressure cooker, Model No. PPC-790, but many Tristar products have been implicated in similar pressure cooker explosions. The litigation can be expected to grow.

Each of the ‘Philadelphia six’ tells a similar tale:
[plaintiff] suffered serious and substantial burn injuries as the direct and proximate result of the Pressure Cooker's lid being able to be rotated and opened while the Pressure Cooker was still under pressure, during the normal, directed use of the Pressure Cooker, allowing its scalding hot contents to be forcefully ejected from the Pressure Cooker and onto [plaintiff].

The owner’s manual for Model No, PPC-790 describes a lid safety device that “[p]revents pressure build-up if lid is not closed properly and prevents lid from opening until all pressure is released.” In addition, a YouTube marketing video featuring culinary expert Eric Theiss assures consumers that, “when your Pressure Cooker is up to pressure, the lid locks on. I couldn't get this lid open if I wanted to. There's no way you're gonna open it. So, it's loaded with safety features, you guys. So, if you've never used a pressure cooker before, this is one of the safest ones you can get.”

The Complaint is comprehensive, alleging:
  • strict liability for an inherently dangerous product;

  • negligence in the manufacture, sale, warnings, quality control, distribution, advertising,

  • promotion, and marketing of the pressure cookers;

  • breach of express and implied warranties; and

  • violation of state consumer protection law.

Model No. PPC-790 is hardly the only problematic Tristar pressure cooker. Consumers have filed lawsuits against Tristar in state and federal courts in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Michigan, Louisiana, California and Georgia for injuries resulting from their use of Tristar’s Power Pressure Cooker XL and other models with the same safety features. Many reported incidents describe a failure of the lid locking system that permitted the cooker to be opened when contents were still under pressure, as allegedly occurred in In re Christian. Others tell of violent explosions, with the lid blowing off forcefully enough to damage kitchen cabinets and appliances, sometimes also badly burning cooks and bystanders with scalding food.

The increasing number of lawsuits and consumer complaints about exploding pressure cooker injuries suggests that the problem is far too common and that consumers should exercise great caution.


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