Recalled Sunbeam Pressure Cookers Pose Serious Burn Threat to Users
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of George E. McLaughlin with McLaughlin Law Firm.
Sunbeam’s Crock-Pot 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cookers was recently recalled after 119 reports of lid detachment and 99 burn injuries ranging from first to third degree were made to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). As lawsuits begin to be filed against Sunbeam over pressure cooker injuries, it is quite possible that further reports of these products malfunctioning and/or causing injuries will arise. Consumers who are using Sunbeam’s Crock-Pot are advised to immediately cease use to prevent injury to themselves and their loved ones.
Burn injuries are serious; anything above first degree typically requires emergency medical attention.
The risk of extreme burn injuries is undoubtedly not at the forefront of consumer thoughts, especially when the manufacturers of these products assure the public that the safeguards included are effective. Pressure cooker users are likely unaware of the extent of the injuries that may occur if the product malfunctions, but the manufacturers are not. Pressure cooker manufacturers know exactly what the consequences of a defective pressure cooker are; this is why they are required to adhere to strict safety standards in the design and manufacturing of these products. When a manufacturer fails to account for or prevent the risk of the burn injuries, consumers are the ones who suffer.
Pressure cookers should not be able to be opened while under pressure.
Pressure cookers have become increasingly popular in recent years, however, product liability experts have been keeping a close watch on these products. With the contents of a pressure cooker able to reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than the temperature of boiling water, the consequences of a defect can be catastrophic for users.
The primary problem with these pressure cookers is the lid; by design, the lid should not be able to be removed while the contents are pressure, even if the product incorrectly reads that the contents have been depressurized. When the lid on a pressurized cooker opens, the scalding hot contents literally explode out and onto the user and their surroundings.
The burns Sunbeam users have suffered so far range from first to third degree.
While first degree burns typically do not cause permanent damage, they can be extremely painful. Second degree burns are more serious, and may result in blisters and scarring. Third degree burns are severe and typically cause permanent damage; skin that is burned to the third degree may turn black, brown, white, or yellow and may not even hurt due to the nerve damage involved. With any injury, infection is an unfortunate possibility and is particularly problematic in the case of burn injuries.
If you or a loved one were injured by a pressure cooker, consider the following steps:
- Seek immediate medical attention. Waiting to seek care not only puts your health at risk, but it can also have a negative impact on your case should you choose to pursue recovery.
- Take pictures of the scene where the pressure cooker was used. It is not uncommon for the contents of a defective pressure cooker to cover the walls and even the ceiling.
- Take pictures of the pressure cooker. It’s important to take pictures of the pressure cooker itself after the accident. If you can avoid moving it, pictures of the product exactly as appeared after the accident may be helpful to your case.
- Take pictures of the injuries. Visually documenting the injury right away as well as during the healing process may help prove the extent of your damages.
- Store the pressure cooker as-is in a safe place until it can be examined by a product expert. If you have already turned the product into CPSC, you may ask to have it returned to you. Don’t try to fix or even clean the product before storing it. This will likely be the most important piece of evidence if you choose to pursue a claim.
- Collect any packaging, instructional material, purchase receipts, or other documents you have related to the pressure cooker and keep in a safe place.
- Collect the medical records you have documenting your injury, treatment, and related expenses.
- Discuss the situation with a product liability attorney to assess your options for physical and financial recovery.
To learn more about the Sunbeam pressure cooker recall or for help filing a claim for your burn injuries, reach out to a product liability attorney as soon as possible.