Defective Pressure Cooker Causes Severe Injuries

pressure cookerThis case takes place in Vermont and involves injury from a pressure cooker. The plaintiff believed his food was finished cooking and proceeded to open the lid by releasing the hatch. The steam resulted in severe burns on his arms, chest, and torso, requiring skin graphs. The plaintiff alleges that the cooker is defective in that it allowed the lid to be released prematurely while the unit was still under pressure, causing the liquid inside to immediately turn to steam burning the plaintiff.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you have experience in conducting failure analysis on pressure cookers?
  • 2. Should you be able to release the hatch while the unit is still under pressure, as described in the brief case summary?

Expert Witness Response E-007805

I have extensive experience in the evaluation and testing of pressure cookers. I have been practicing engineering for 15 years and have experience designing and fabricating electro-mechanical systems for use in production, focusing on human interaction with the systems and designing safety guards. I have opined on similar cases in the past and still maintain that a user of a pressure cooker should not be able to easily open the lid while the unit is under pressure. The ability to do so constitutes a significant hazard and a defective product.


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