Instant Pot Burn Injury

Each year in Florida, a large number of people are burned by defective pressure cookers. Some of the people afflicted by these accidents experience burns so severe that complex surgeries are required. While there are numerous types of pressure cookers known to cause accidents, the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker is one of these products that has been involved in multiple recalls and claims. Our pressure cooker lawyers in Florida have handled numerous pressure cooker burn injury claims. Call the Law Offices of Jason Turchin today at 800-337-7755 for a free consultation.

In response to these tragedies and misleading information provided by pressure cooker manufacturers, an increasing number of people are pursuing pressure cooker lawsuits. With the assistance of an experienced pressure cooker attorney, pressure cooker victims are able to seek compensation for a variety of damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages.

Why The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker May Be Dangerous

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker is one of the most popular types of pressure cookers. Despite the fact that the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker has a safety feature which is designed to prevent the cooker’s lid from opening while under pressure, the lid has opened in some situations, resulting in very serious injuries.

Some of the most common injuries that are known to arise from pressure cooker explosions include burns, cuts, disfigurement, eye injuries, scalds, scarring, scrapes, and traumatic brain injuries.

Even though there is a danger that the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker will open, there may not be adequate warnings on the product. Instead, Instant Pot informed consumers in its instructions that the lid will never open while the contents are under pressure.

A few years ago, the Instant Pot Smart and the Instant Pot Smart 60 were recalled after multiple complaints that consumers who used the product had experienced serious burn injuries.

The Basis of Defective Product Lawsuits

One of the first steps in initiating a defective product lawsuit for a pressure cooker burn injury is to determine what type of defect the product has. There are three types of product defects based on a product’s design, marketing, or manufacturing; many Instant Pot defective product lawsuits involve claims that the product was defectively designed or manufactured.

Design defects refer to flaws that exist in the design of a product, which means that a product is inherently dangerous even if it has been manufactured in accordance with its design plans. To determine if a design defect exists, a court may determine whether the product is unreasonably dangerous as designed, or if the product is not safe for its intended and reasonably foreseeable use.

In some cases, it might be possible to pursue the other two types of defective product claims following a pressure cooker accident. Manufacturing defects claim that the pressure cooker is designed to be safe, and would be, but that a flaw occurred during the manufacturing process. A marketing defect refers to a defect about how a product is used and the warnings given about its potential dangers.

Our pressure cooker burn lawyers have handled many defective product claims against various pressure cooker companies, including Tristar Products for their Power Pressure Cooker.

Customer Warnings of Instant Pot Injuries

Over the years, more and more customers have reported alleged issues as a result of their Instant Pot. Some of the reviews and warnings include:

After it was done, I left it to "sit," though I did let some pressure out with the valve. 41 minutes later, I went to check on it. I let pressure out for almost a full minute. 50 minutes after it stopped, after I let as much pressure out as I could, I removed the lid...scorching liquid sprayed all over my chest. I had second degree burns. It has just been in the last week that I feel a little bit normal. There's discoloration and probably some scarring, but it was my chest luckily, not my face or my eyes in particular. – Echo, amazon.com

The steam release valve broke and fell out completely after only 4 uses. – SF, amazon.com

The plastic had treads, the metal lining wore off the minute I tried to align the lid, the instructions are in poorly written English that leaves one confused as to whats what. – W. Maugham, amazon.com

An examination of the components revealed that the part inside the lid was installed improperly, being at an unusual angle. After doing what I could, the steam coming out the pressure release mechanism on the top of the lid improved somewhat, but never stopped leaking a substantial amount of steam so that, although it would get to pressure, it would have to cycle much faster than other pressure cookers I have, and a "natural release" took no time at all. Notified Instantpot about the problems, and got several responses, the first one demonstrating they paid absolutely no attention to what I had stated in my initial email to them. – H, amazon.com

The issue is, I’m not sure the convenience outweighs how dangerous this item becomes when it malfunctions (which seems to be fairly common, as per reviews). The other day, I was cooking with it, business as usual. When I went to release the rest of the pressure manually (after 15 minutes of natural release which usually brings the system to 0), the valve started to spew out huge amounts of lava-hot sauce (see attached photo) for about 5-6 minutes. I’ve made this recipe before, with no issue, so it seems the unit malfunctioned. Besides being inconvenient (because which doesn’t like cleaning stroganoff off their ceiling?), it was incredibly dangerous — I burned my hands/fingers pretty badly. – MS, amazon.com

Types of Instant Pot Pressure Cookers

Instant Pot is distributed by Instant Brands, Inc. based in Canada, with products distributed throughout the United States.

They distribute several Pressure Cooker and Multi-Cooker models, including: 

  • Gem 65 V2
  • Aura 60
  • Aura Pro
  • Lux Mini
  • Duo Mini
  • Duo Plus Mini
  • Ultra Mini
  • Lux 60 V2
  • Lux 60 V3
  • Duo 60
  • Nova Plus
  • Duo Plus 60
  • Viva 60
  • Ultra 60
  • Smart WiFi
  • Instant Pot Max
  • Lux 80
  • Duo 80
  • Duo Plus 80
  • Viva 80
  • Ultra 80

Safety of Instant Pot Pressure Cookers

The Instant Pot website states that its pressure cookers have 10 or 11 safety mechanisms to protect the user from harm. It says:

Instant Pot® is designed with 10 Safety Mechanisms to eliminate many common errors which may cause harm or spoil food.  The following Safety Mechanisms are applicable to:  Lux 6-in-1, Duo 7-in-1,  Duo Plus 9-in-1 and Smart Bluetooth

  1. Steam Release – Releases excess pressure by venting steam through the steam release valve/handle.
  2. Anti-Block Shield – A stainless steel cover which prevents food particles from entering the steam release pipe, reducing the risk of blockages.
  3. Safety Lid Lock – When cooker is pressurized, the lid will automatically lock to prevent opening the cooker. Do not attempt to force the lid open while the cooker is pressurized.
  4. Lid Position Detection – If the lid is not in a safe position for pressure cooking, the cooker will not allow cooking to begin.
  5. Automatic Temperature Control – Regulates heating to ensure the inner pot remains within a safe temperature range, based on the program.
  6. Overheat (Burn) Protection – Overheating may occur if:
    • After Sautéing, inner pot has not been deglazed— food is stuck to the bottom
    • The pressure cooker is being operated without sufficient cooking liquid
    • The inner pot is not making full contact with the heating element
    • The inner pot encounters a heat distribution issue, such as when starch accumulates on the bottom of the inner pot.
    The cooker will reduce the risk of burning food by lowering the heat output.
  7. Automatic Pressure Control – Maintains working pressure levels. Suspends heating if pressure exceeds pressure level limits.
  8. Electrical fuse – Cuts off power if the electrical current exceeds safety limits.
  9. Thermal Fuse – Cuts off power if the internal temperature exceeds safety limits.
  10. Leaky Lid Detection – If there is steam leakage from the lid (such as, sealing ring not installed, or steam release handle being in “Venting” and not “Sealing” position) the cooker will not pressurize. Loss of steam may cause food to burn. The cooker monitors the pre-heating time and lowers heat output if working pressure is not reached within 40 minutes.

The Instant Pot does not have the same safety mechanisms available on all products according to their website. For example, it says:

Instant Pot Max is designed with 13 Safety Mechanisms to eliminate many common errors which may cause harm or spoil food.  Max 13 Safety Mechanisms according to the Instant Pot website are:

  1. Steam Release – Releases excess pressure by venting steam through the steam release valve/handle.
  2. Safety Lid Lock – When cooker is pressurized, the lid will automatically lock to prevent opening the cooker. Do not attempt to force the lid open while the cooker is pressurized.
  3. Wireless Lid Detection – Detects if the lid is present or not, as required by the selected program.
  4. Lid Position Detection – If the lid is not in a safe position for pressure cooking, the cooker will not allow cooking to begin.
  5. Overheat (Burn) Protection – Overheating may occur if:
    • After Sautéing, inner pot has not been deglazed— food is stuck to the bottom
    • The pressure cooker is being operated without sufficient cooking liquid
    • The inner pot is not making full contact with the heating element
    • The inner pot encounters a heat distribution issue, such as when starch accumulates on the bottom of the inner pot.
    The cooker will reduce the risk of burning food by lowering the heat output.
  6. Anti-Block Shield – A stainless steel cover which prevents food particles from entering the steam release pipe, reducing the risk of blockages.
  7. Automatic Pressure Control – Maintains working pressure levels. Suspends heating if pressure exceeds pressure level limits.
  8. Pressure Indicator – Indicator on control panel that illuminates when pressure is detected in the cooker. Do not attempt to force the lid open while the indicator is lit.
  9. Automatic Temperature Control – Regulates heating to ensure the inner pot remains within a safe temperature range, based on the program.
  10. Leaky Lid Detection – If there is steam leakage from the lid (such as, sealing ring not installed, or steam release handle being in “Venting” and not “Sealing” position) the cooker will not pressurize. Loss of steam may cause food to burn. The cooker monitors the pre-heating time and lowers heat output if working pressure is not reached within 40 minutes.
  11. Self-Diagnostic – Scans components for errors. Displays error codes on-screen.
  12. Thermal Fuse – Cuts off power if the internal temperature exceeds safety limits.
  13. Electrical Fuse – Cuts off power if the electrical current exceeds safety limits.

The newer model seems to have a “Pressure Indicator” which is not present in other models. This reasonably safer alternative may be intended to give users an additional warning that the pressure cooker is still pressurized even if the other safety mechanisms fail.

Speak with an Experienced Defective Product Attorney

A large number of pressure cooker lawsuits have been initiated against various pressure cooker distributors and manufacturers in courts throughout the country. If you or a loved one has been harmed by using a pressure cooker, an experienced defective product attorney can be particularly helpful. Contact the Law Offices of Jason Turchin today for a free consultation.