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Washington Pressure Cooker Lawsuit Attorney

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

Pressure cookers are popular kitchen appliances designed to cook food quickly and efficiently. However, their convenience has come at a steep price for some users.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in Washington pressure cooker lawsuit cases, focusing on exploding devices that have caused severe injuries.

This article will explore the landscape of pressure cooker lawsuits in Washington, revealing the risks associated with these appliances, the brands involved in litigation, and the importance of consumer safety when using pressure cookers.

At Schmidt & Clark, LLP, we stand ready to assist if you or a loved one has been injured due to a pressure cooker accident.

As a law firm with national recognition and a focus on plaintiff’s cases, our primary objective is to fight for your justice and secure the compensation you are rightfully entitled to.

Washington Pressure Cooker Injury Lawsuits

The state of Washington has witnessed a surge in pressure cooker lawsuits, with victims seeking compensation for severe burns and other injuries caused by defective pressure cookers.

These legal proceedings are initiated by individuals who have suffered harm due to exploding pressure cookers, alleging that the device malfunctioned and caused severe injuries and destruction of property from the searing hot contents and flying debris.

Trends in Pressure Cooker Litigation

Pressure cooker litigation has been on the rise, with numerous brands facing lawsuits for faulty design and safety features. This trend is a cause for concern, as many users may be unaware of the potential risks associated with using pressure cookers.

Safe operation of pressure cookers requires:

  • Inspecting the rubber gasket for wear or cracks
  • Clearing the vent or pressure release valve of debris
  • Fully releasing all the pressure before opening the lid away from your face
  • Avoiding overfilling the cooker with foods like rice or beans that expand

Regular maintenance and adherence to the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions can help prolong the life of a pressure cooker and ensure it operates safely. Despite these precautions, incidents still occur, highlighting the need for improved safety measures and awareness of potential dangers.

Which Pressure Cooker Brands Are Named in The Lawsuits?

Pressure cooker brands that are named in the lawsuits include Sunbeam, Tristar, Instant Pot, and Cook’s Essentials.

These incidents have led to substantial burn injuries, with some victims suffering life-altering consequences as a result of defective pressure cookers.

Cook’s Essentials Pressure Cooker, one of the brands involved in litigation, is primarily distributed through QVC and has faced allegations of defective pressure cookers.

Similarly, other renowned pressure cooker manufacturers like Instant Pot and Ninja have also faced legal action due to design and safety issues that have left consumers severely burned.

These lawsuits serve as a stark reminder of the potential dangers associated with pressure cookers, particularly when using a cook’s essentials pressure cooker, and emphasize the importance of consumer safety.

Common Causes of Pressure Cooker Explosions

Pressure cooker explosions can occur due to a variety of reasons, including faulty valves, locking systems, and malfunctioning safety features. These defects can lead to an excessive buildup of pressure within the cooker, surpassing its design limits and compromising safety features, potentially resulting in an explosion.

Manufacturers can be held accountable for any damages or injuries caused due to their unsafe, low-quality materials and lack of adequate safety features in their electric pressure cookers. Any faulty safety concerns could also lead to the manufacturers being answerable.

In many cases, pressure cooker explosions have been attributed to the failure of safety mechanisms designed to release pressure. A malfunctioning valve can lead to an excessive buildup of pressure within the cooker, posing a significant risk to consumers.

“The pressure cooker has incorrect volume markings on the inner pot. This can cause consumers to overfill the pot and hot food and liquids to be ejected when the pressure cooker is vented using the quick release method or opened while its contents are pressurized, posing a burn hazard to consumers.”- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

When these safety features fail to function correctly, the results can be catastrophic, as in instances where a pressure cooker exploded, causing severe injuries and, in some cases, even fatalities due to a pressure cooker explosion.

Plaintiff Claims in Pressure Cooker Injury Lawsuit

Plaintiffs in defective pressure cooker injury lawsuits often claim that manufacturers failed to warn consumers of potential dangers or recall defective products. These claims may include:

In some cases, lawsuits have been filed claiming that an appliance is defective due to the lid’s ability to be removed. At the same time, the unit still shows that all pressure has not yet been released. This phenomenon occurs in spite of normal force being applied to the lid.

In the Bella pressure cooker lawsuit, McGee v. Instant Brands, Inc., the plaintiff claims that she was able to open the lid and rotate it. In contrast, the pressure cooker was still pressurized, resulting in scalding hot contents spilling out onto her body. The plaintiff is claiming damages for a variety of harms suffered, such as:

  • injuries
  • medical expenses
  • lost wages
  • physical pain
  • mental anguish
  • reduction in quality of life

Other damages of an equivalent nature also form part of the compensation requested. Such cases highlight the urgent need for improved safety features and increased consumer awareness of the potential dangers associated with pressure cookers.

Common Pressure Cooker Injury

Common injuries from pressure cooker explosions include severe burns, scalding, and lacerations from flying debris [1].

These injuries can range in severity and may require extensive medical treatment to address the physical damage sustained. Victims of pressure cooker explosions should seek prompt medical attention to receive appropriate care and minimize any financial repercussions of the injury.

The severity of injuries sustained from pressure cooker explosions can range from:

  • Severe burn injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Fractured bones
  • Shrapnel wounds
  • Scalds
  • Long-term complications

In some cases, victims may require ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation, which can place a significant financial burden on the injured party and their family.

This highlights the importance of seeking compensation through legal action to alleviate the financial strain and hold manufacturers accountable for their defective products.

Pressure Cooker Lawsuit Settlement Amounts in Washington

Settlement amounts in Washington pressure cooker lawsuits vary depending on the severity of injuries, with some cases resulting in multi-million dollar verdicts.

For instance, the family of Samantha Gonzalez, who suffered second and third-degree burns over 60% of her body from a faulty Vasconia pressure cooker, received a $27 million verdict in their lawsuit against Lifetime Brands.

Settlement amounts for second-degree burns typically range between $125,000 and $200,000, while third-degree burns may result in settlements between $600,000 and $2,000,000.

The estimated settlement value of an Instant Pot pressure cooker injury lawsuit depends on the degree of the physical injuries caused by the Instant Pot. For third-degree burn injuries, the potential settlement value is estimated to be between $125,000 and $950,000.

For second or first-degree burns, the estimated settlement value range is $40,000 to $150,000. These figures demonstrate the significant financial impact that pressure cooker injuries can have on victims and their families, further emphasizing the importance of seeking legal recourse in such cases.

Filing a Washington Pressure Cooker Lawsuit

Filing a pressure cooker lawsuit in Washington requires proving manufacturer liability, seeking damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, and adhering to the state’s statute of limitations. Filing a lawsuit requires establishing manufacturer culpability and demonstrating evidence of mitigation.

This process might include retaining broken pieces of the pressure cooker, capturing photographs and videos of the scene and injuries, keeping medical records and invoices, and speaking with witnesses who may have seen the incident.

It is also advisable to contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation, as they can provide valuable guidance and representation throughout the legal process.

A skilled attorney will work diligently to help victims of pressure cooker explosions receive the compensation they deserve while holding manufacturers accountable for their defective products.

Types of Damages

In pressure cooker lawsuits, plaintiffs may be eligible to recover economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic damages refer to the financial losses suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the incident, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other quantifiable financial losses.

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement

Punitive damages could be awarded in a pressure cooker injury lawsuit in Washington if the defendant’s conduct is found to be intentional, outrageous, or reckless.

The purpose of punitive damages is to deter manufacturers from engaging in similar conduct in the future and to provide a strong incentive for them to prioritize consumer safety.

Statute of Limitations

Washington’s statute of limitations for product liability claims is three years from the date of injury. This means that victims of pressure cooker explosions must file their lawsuit within three years of the date when they were injured or when they became aware that the product defect caused their damages, whichever is earlier [2].

The statute of limitations period is crucial, as it ensures that claims are brought forth in a timely manner and that evidence remains fresh and reliable.

It is important to note that the statute of limitations cannot be extended for product liability cases in Washington. Victims should act promptly and seek legal representation as soon as possible to protect their rights and optimize their chances of receiving compensation for their injuries.

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If you or a loved one has been affected by injuries due to an exploding pressure cooker, we at Schmidt and Clark, LLP are here to help. Our experienced team is equipped to handle such cases and will guide you through every step of the process.

We believe in your right to be fully informed about your legal rights and the possibility of filing a lawsuit. We offer free consultations, and you won’t be charged unless we win your case. Our commitment is to provide you with the same level of care and dedication we would extend to our own family.

Contact Schmidt and Clark today for a thorough evaluation of your case. Allow us to be your reliable ally in this journey.

Reference:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33655192/
  2. https://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=4.16.080

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