INSTANT POT PRESSURE COOKER
On March 1, 2018, Double Insight recalled its Instant Pot Gem 65 8-in-1 multicookers after discovering a manufacturer defect that can cause the multicooker to overheat and melt on the underside, posing a fire and injury hazard to consumers. According to Instant Pot Recalls releases, around 104,000 units that were sold exclusively at Walmart from August, 2017 through January, 2018 have been recalled.
This Gem 65 8-in-1 multicookers is a multifunctional, programmable cooking appliance, which includes the functions of roasting, baking, stewing, slow cooking, rice cooking, searing/sautéing, steaming and food warming. A recall was prompted by safety concerns, and Double Insight has received at least 107 reports of overheating, five resulting in minor property damage.
Instant Pot recalls statements from the company says the affected products have batch codes of 1728, 1730, 1731, 1734, and 1746—the codes found on a silver label on the underside of the cooker, on the bottom right side of the label.
Pressure cooker defects may be reported by injured consumers or the manufacturer, and they are often recalled when they violate the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If you have been injured by an Instant Pot Gem multicooker product or another pressure cooker, you may be eligible for compensation to cover medical costs, lost wages, damages and pain and suffering.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated recall attorney and product liability lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of consumer product liability and product defect cases.
Pressure Cooker Injury & Instant Pot Recall
Pressure cookers are frequently recalled for posing burn and fire hazards to American consumers. Specific defects may include an unsafe design, faulty sealing gaskets, improper assembly or poor material construction. Consumers who suffer burn injuries as a result of defective instant pot pressure cookers have filed successful lawsuits against the manufacturers.
Pressure cookers have caused hundreds of serious injuries over the years. Pressure cookers like the Gem 65 8-in-1 multicooker allegedly cook foods at temperatures higher than 250 degrees Fahrenheit. When contents spill or the appliance explodes, the hazards are obvious.
First and second degree burns have been reported. Second-degree burns can result in swelling, blisters, leaking fluid, skin loss and swelling. Third-degree burns are more serious, penetrate the entire thickness of the skin, and may damage nerve endings.
Injuries are likely to result from common defects, including:
- Inadequate Lid Seals—a pot lid seal provided for spilling hot contents may not be sufficient and boiling contents that are not contained cause serious burns.
- Overheating—the instant pot may fail to safely regulate temperature
- Defective Gaskets—cookers are equipped with a gasket that controls the pressure of the device. If a gasket is defective, a premature opening of the instant pot is possible, resulting in steam and contact burns.
- Inadequate Venting Mechanisms—pressure cookers can explode as a result of an inadequate venting of steam.
Many product liability cases have had a positive impact on public health and safety, and we have witnessed improved lives and future injuries prevented as companies are forced to remove products and change designs and warnings as a result of litigation.
Give Yourself a Voice
Product liability lawsuits often contain causes of action for strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. Strict liability applies to different factors than negligence-based claims.
In negligence cases, the actions of the defendant are the focus. In strict liability claims, the focus is on the condition of a product at the time it left the manufacturer. If a product is determined to be defective, the company is liable for any foreseeable injuries that are in-part caused by the defective condition of the product.
Ohio Definition of Defective
A product is defective if it is unreasonably dangerous for its intended use. A legal cause of action can be based on several types of product defects. The following are Cincinnati product liability and strict liability claims available in Ohio and in most jurisdictions nationwide:
(1) Manufacturing/ Construction Defect:
These issues arise where the product is released from the factory in a manner that deviates from the intended design or specifications. The defect can be a result of using the wrong materials, including the wrong or completely foreign materials (e.g., Tylenol contamination, food poisoning, damaged car part from factory installation).
As a result of the deviation, the product enters the market in an unreasonably dangerous condition and the consumer is exposed to or purchases a product that is defective. Any personal injuries or economic loss that arise from the the defect are compensable under Ohio product liability law.
(2) Defective design and/or formulation:
Defective design product liability cases arise not because a mistake was made during the manufacturing process, but rather the original design of the product is unreasonably dangerous. A “risk benefit analysis” is used to determine whether safer/less expensive alternative designs were available to the manufacturer.
Federal regulations set minimum standards for the design of many consumer products, and preemption defenses may preclude liability in some situations if the manufacturer follows and obtains federal approval for a product. Automotive recalls and product liability cases are usually a result of a defective design. Common cases include the Toyota Brake Recall, Chrysler Gen III seat belt buckle, lap belt only cases, Metal on Metal hip implants, transvaginal mesh.)
(3) Failure to warn or inadequate warning or instruction associated with the product:
All consumer products come with necessary and appropriate warnings and instructions for use. If the lack of a warning makes the product and use of the product unsafe, the manufacturer is liable for the failure to place the warning. The most common area of litigation for failure to warn is in pharmaceutical litigation.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers are required to warn of the known or foreseeable side effects and update the warnings in a timely manner. Litigation arises where there is evidence the manufacturer failed to timely update a warning in light of new data or simply ignored the risk and failed to conduct sufficient research to identify and then disclose the risk.
The product fails to conform to a representation or warranty. Warranty claims are more common in commercial and economic loss cases than in personal injury cases. In many States, The Product Liability Act does not apply to cases with only economic loss, because the Commercial Code provides recourse for breach of warranty.
The warranty may be written or implied based upon the products intended purpose and merchantability. An example of a breach of warranty cases are cases involving automotive defects.
Risks: The following factors are considered under Ohio law when determining the risks associated with the design of a product: (1) the magnitude of the risk of injury; (2) ordinary consumer awareness of the risk for injury; (3) the likelihood of causing injury; (4) the violation of a private or public standard; and (5) the consumer’s expectation of the performance of the product and level of danger. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (B) Product Defective in Design or Formulation.
Benefits: The following factors are considered under Ohio law when determining the benefits associated with product design: (1) the utility of the product; (2) availability of an alternative design; (3) the magnitude of risks associated with an alternative design. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (c)
Defenses for Defective Design: (1) a pharmaceutical drug or medical device is not defective by design if it contains an adequate warning of an unavoidably unsafe aspect of the pharmaceutical or medical device; (2) the dangerous aspect is inherent to the product, recognizable, and cannot be eliminated without compromising the product’s usefulness; (3) a lack of a feasible alternative design. 2307.75 (d)(e)(f).
- Metal on Metal Hip Implants
- Lap Belt Only Seat Belts
- Transvaginal Mesh
- FMK Fast Action Trigger
- Lack of Insulating Link on Cranes
A manufacturing defect is based on a defect that occurred during the manufacturing process. Many auto companies have been involved in this kind of product liability lawsuits in recent years, due to defective airbags, software defects, tire failure, and other dangerous manufacturing errors.
Most manufacturing defect cases are based on a products deviation from the intended specification, formula, performance standards, or design model. In such cases, it may be easy to determine the product did not comply with the intended design.
The product may be recalled as a specific lot is identified as being non-compliant and defective. A product may be defective in manufacture or construction, materials and assembly, and a manufacturer or distributor may be subject to strict liability, even though it exercised all possible care. Ohio Revised Code 2307.74.
Manufacturing Defect Examples:
- Contaminated Food
- Defective Medical Devices
- Contaminated Pharmaceuticals
- Defective Handguns
- Defective Auto Components
In determining whether a product is defective due to inadequate warning or instruction, evidence must be presented to prove:
- The manufacturer knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about a risk
- A reasonable manufacturer would have provided a warning of the risk
- The manufacturer failed to provide the warning
- The person was injured due to a lack of warning. The same elements apply whether the claim is based on a warning present during the marketing or post-sale warnings.
Defenses to Failure to Warn Claims: (1) the risk was open and obvious or a matter of common knowledge; and (2) in cases of a pharmaceutical drug or medical device, the warning was provided to the prescribing physician (“Learned Intermediary Doctrine”).
Many pharmaceutical companies have been targeted in failure to warn lawsuits for either failing to place warnings on medication guides and packaging or failing to properly test their product before putting it to market.
Design and manufacturing defects result in thousands of product recalls each year in the United States, initiated by federal safety agencies. Following injury and illness, regardless of recall status, victims and plaintiffs may pursue legal action and contact a product liability lawyer to begin the litigation process. Rightful compensation can be sought and help plaintiffs recover medical costs and other related damages.
Product liability law overlaps with regulatory law, which are the systems of legislative rules and administrative agencies, and part of federal and state governments. These agencies regulate the safety of the products sold to the public. Examples include:
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA;)
- The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
The listed government agencies, however, may initiate recalls of dangerous products but do not provide remedies or compensation for damages where an individual is injured due to the defective product.
Our Firm will help you find the answers. The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered.
Experience: Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Product Liability Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Product Liability lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.
Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.
Results: Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results.
Defective products on the market present safety and health hazards for adults and children. Cheap and defective products may pose fire and burn risks; electrocution, strangulation and choking risks; and severe health risks. The manufacturers of consumer products have a duty to foresee potential injury and properly design and test products before they are released.
Companies must also properly warn consumers of any risks associated with their products. Any failure to protect consumers that results in accidents and injury can lead to lawsuits filed by plaintiffs and their product liability lawyer.
The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law.
DEFECTIVE LAP BELT RESTRAINT
SPINAL CORD INJURY
(Pikeville, Kentucky): Confidential settlement for Plaintiff who suffered spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia due to defectively designed seat belt. Four passengers with three-point (lap/shoulder) belts walked away from the accident, and the only passenger wearing a two-point belt (lap only) suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury. The settlement assisted with home improvements to assist in daily living. GM entered federal bankruptcy during the process and no longer manufactures two-point lap belts for vehicles.
DEFECTIVE PROPANE WALL HEATER
(Hillsboro, Ohio): Confidential Settlement for the family of elderly man who was catastrophically burned while operating a propane wall heater. The burns resulted in his unfortunate death. The heater, manufactured and sourced from China, was alleged to allow the flame to reach outside the grid area in violation of ANSI standards. The Defendant resolved the case following discovery and mediation. The recovered funds were paid to the victim’s surviving spouse and children. The company no longer manufactures this type of heater.