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Tristar Power Pressure Cooker XL Explosions

Residents of Pittsburgh and the surrounding Ohio Valley area who purchased a Tristar Power Pressure Cooker should be aware of reports of explosions with the home-cooking device, which have resulted in serious burns and other injuries.

One of these cookers recently burned a cafeteria employee in Bridgewater, New Jersey, according to news outlets. The 48-year-old woman was making rice when the top of the cooker came off and the pot exploded, sending hot rice throughout the cafeteria. The woman was rushed by helicopter to a hospital and treated for serious burns on her hand and arm.

Lawsuits are already being filed against the manufacturer, Tristar Products, Inc., with plaintiffs claiming the company failed to provide adequate warnings about the risks, and failed to make sure the product was safe before releasing it on the market.

Three plaintiffs brought claims against the pressure cooker maker in the Northern District of Ohio, claiming that the cookers had manufacturing and design defects that cause them to explode. All three stated that they suffered injuries when they opened their cookers and scalding contents erupted onto them. They seek nationwide class action status for their lawsuit.

What is the Tristar Power Pressure Cooker XL?

Tristar Pressure Cooker Diagram

Tristar Products, Inc. is incorporated under the laws of the state of Pennsylvania, with its principal place of business in Fairfield, New Jersey. When the company released the power pressure cooker XL, they advertised it as the easy way to make delicious, homemade meals faster and easier than ever.

The cooker is an updated version of the older power pressure cookers that were originally used mostly for canning and later came into home use as consumers realized the benefits of high-speed cooking. The “Presto” pressure cooker was unveiled at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, a saucepan-style cooker that had an easy-to-close interlocking cover. After that, pressure cookers became very popular in American homes.

The cooker fell out of favor in the 1950s as reports of burns and injuries increased, but came back in the 1970s as manufacturers developed additional safety features to help prevent cookers from being opened unless pressure was safely reduced. Sales dropped back again with the rush for fast food and convenience meals, but these cookers have gained popularity recently as Americans seek to enjoy healthy, homemade meals with minimal preparation time.

On its  website, Tristar taps into that nostalgia for home-cooked meals around the family table by advertising its power pressure cooker XL as giving consumers the ability to cook healthy meals at home in 25 minutes or less, without all the difficult clean-up of multiple pots and pans. The company notes that the airtight lid locks into place, trapping heat and moisture inside, cooking food fast and locking in tenderness. They also state that consumers should enjoy one-touch cooking that’s up to ten times faster than conventional methods.

Despite all Tristar’s assurances of safety features, however, the Consumer Safety Products Commission (CPSC) has received at least 40 reports of injuries related to pressure cookers, including Tristar pressure cookers.

Types of Injuries with the Tristar Power Pressure Cooker

Tristar Pressure Cooker Defects

People who have reported explosion incidents and who have filed lawsuits against Tristar note a number of problems with the device. The most common complaint is that it explodes without warning, even after the pressure is supposedly released. Users state that the lid is supposed to stay locked until the pressure is released (the “safe lock lid” that the company advertises), yet they’ve been able to lift it away with pressure still present because the pot explodes.

Plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits against the company claim that something is defective in the design. In the Ohio case mentioned above, plaintiffs assert that the cookers have a defective pressure release valve that inaccurately informs users that they can safely open their pressure cookers.

Types of injuries that may result from these pressure cookers explosions include:

  • Burns to all areas of the body
  • Minor, moderate, and severe burns, often requiring immediate medical attention
  • Pain and disfigurement
  • Permanent scarring
  • Scratches and wounds from glass shards flying about

Victims often have to go through more than one medical treatment, and some have ended up with enduring pain and scars that will last the rest of their lives. Plaintiffs claim that Tristar was negligent in designing, manufacturing, and testing the product, failing to prevent sudden and unexpected explosions of scalding hot liquids.

No Tristar Power Pressure Cooker XL Recall Yet

Despite the number of reports connecting explosions to Tristar pressure cookers, the company has yet to respond with any sort of statement, improved warning, or recall. The reports are concerning. One consumer notes that while using one of these cookers to make pea soup, the pressure pot lid exploded and the contents spilled onto her.

Another report describes cooking with the pressure cooker and then releasing the pressure valve. She let it sit for a short time period, and then came back to open it. The lid blew off and the contents exploded onto her. She noted that the product was “supposed to stay locked until all pressure was released, which it did not.”

A third report tells of a consumer preparing dinner for her family in the Tristar Power Pressure Cooker XL. After 25 minutes, the timer went off notifying her that the meal was complete. She says she turned the pressure release valve to allow the pressure to escape, and let that continue for 15 minutes until “the valve dropped and no other pressure released.” She then went to remove the lid when the cooker exploded, “causing hot scalding soup to erupt all over my kitchen and myself.” She received second-degree burns on her left hand and right breast.

Despite Tristar’s assurances that it has several safety features, consumers continue to report that the device explodes even when unplugged, vented, and opened without force.

There are other brands of pressure cookers that have been linked to reports of injuries, including Blusmart, Fagor America, Tabletops Unlimited, Vasconia, and Maxi-Matic.

Tristar Power Pressure Cooker XL Lawsuits

In addition to Ohio, plaintiffs have also filed Tristar Power Pressure Cooker XL lawsuits in other states, including Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania. In the Florida lawsuit, a couple claimed that they were home cooking soup in their new cooker for an October meal. When the husband went to lift the lid, the cooker exploded, sending soup everywhere, including over the walls, cabinets, and floor, as well as on the back of the refrigerator. The husband suffered second-degree burns on his arms, and the wife suffered a less serious burn and a swollen hand. Tristar settled their case for an undisclosed amount.

Consumers who purchased a Tristar Power Pressure Cooker XL—or any other brand of power pressure cooker—and then suffered serious injuries because of an explosion or other potential design defects, may be eligible to recover damages in a pressure cooker lawsuit.

Call today for a free and confidential case evaluation at 1-888-316-2311. Chaffin Luhana Pittsburgh attorneys represent individuals in West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania, and Eastern Ohio.

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