Beth Morales told CBS Miami that the Tristar Power Pressure Cooker XL exploded without warning a few months ago while she was cooking dinner. When Morales turned the lid to open, the contents allegedly "spewed out," according to the CBS Miami TV news report:
“Like a volcano erupting. More like, if you sat on top of a volcano and you got up and it was mad at you and it squirted everything at you. It was kind of like that,” she recalled.
“I just started screaming until one of my children came down and said, ‘Why are you screaming like that?’ And I said, ‘Just take everything off me. Take my clothes off, throw ice on me. Ice packs. I need ice packs."
Pressure cookers are sealed pots that turn liquid into steam when heated, allowing foods to cook more quickly as steam pressure rises and the water's boiling point increases. As a result, pressure and temperatures in the cookers run extremely high.
In the past year, more than 3,300 people alleging pressure cooker explosion injuries have contacted Stewart Law PLLC, speaking with attorney Ben Stewart and seeking information on pressure cooker lawsuits. Stewart says that he's filed hundreds of lawsuits on pressure cooker-related injuries.
While Stewart plans to try every case he takes on, manufacturers may sometimes admit liability if the explosion was caused by a known defect, he says. "Sometimes if it's a defect that's not widespread, you can end up trying the case," says Stewart.
Complaints about various brands of exploding pressure cookers have prompted multiple lawsuits filed by people alleging that they suffered severe burns when a pressure cooker exploded while they were cooking.
Consumers have reported numerous incidents of exploding pressure cookers on SaferProducts.gov, the consumer product safety information database website of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
"When these things go off, it's not a little boom," says Stewart. "It covers the whole kitchen. It's not always the cook who is injured. I've had more children injured who were in the kitchen."
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"If you throw those away, you can't prove whether there was a defect in manufacturing or a defect in handling," says Stewart.
Due to state and federal statutes of limitations, it's not a good idea to wait too long to contact an attorney, says Stewart. Also, it's best to consult an attorney soon after any injuries, since it may be months or years before a person knows the extent of skin scarring, he says.
Morales has filed a lawsuit in hopes of preventing more injuries, according to CBS Miami.
“I look at myself in the mirror and I cry because I’m not like I used to be anymore,” Morales told CBS Miami.