Electric pressure cookers benefit from the fact they look a lot like their more sluggish, but safer cousin, the slow cooker. For decades, the Crock Pot brand was synonymous with easy, home-cooked meals Americans tossed together in a single pot on the counter.
Roughly half of American homes already have a slow cooker of some kind. Electric pressure cookers are a growth industry, one spurred by the recent rise of brands like Instant Pot. The introduction of a pressure cooker to Crock Pot’s line of appliances added an element of speed — and danger.
Crock-Pot Safety Claims
Traditional pressure cookers, which heated on the stovetop and were known to occasionally blow their lid, scared even many of the bravest home chefs.
In joining the modern era of electric pressure cookers, Crock Pot urged home chefs to “cook with confidence,” secure in the knowledge the device’s “airtight locking lid remains locked while pressure is inside the unit.”
Likewise, the Crock Pot pressure cooker owner’s manual highlighted “safety sensors.” These, its manufacturer claimed, meant “pressure will not build if the Lid is not shut correctly and has not sealed,” and that as “pressure increases, the Lid cannot be opened.”
As Crock Pot would later be forced to admit, this was not true. In at least one model, defective lids rendered these appliances an injury waiting to happen.
Crock-Pot: Fake Danger on ‘This Is Us’ but a Real Risk at Home
In 2018, Crock Pot faced a nationwide backlash over the risk posed by one of its home cooking devices. It was the wrong one.
In an episode of the NBC show “This Is Us,” a Crock Pot slow cooker short-circuited, causing a fire that supposedly killed off a major character. Millions of viewers watched in horror, as did Sunbeam Products (Crock Pot’s manufacturer), which launched a public relations campaign depicting the televised malfunction as pure fiction, the sort of thing that had never and would never happen.
At that very moment, Crock Pot was making big money selling a product that truly was endangering Americans right in their kitchens.
In November 2020, Sunbeam Products, Inc., of Boca Raton, Florida, in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall of more than 900,000 Crock Pot 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cookers, citing the widespread risk of serious burn injuries from defective lids which could open even while the contents were still under pressure.
Crock-Pot Pressure Cooker Recall Details
In announcing the recall, Sunbeam Products, manufacturer of Crock Pot products, said it had “received 119 reports of lid detachment, resulting in 99 burn injuries ranging in severity from first-degree to third-degree burns.”
Details of the recall were not a surprise to lawyers at Johnson//Becker, whose clients had been suffering burn injuries from Crock Pot pressure cookers for years. In a statement in response to the recall, Michael K. Johnson, founding partner of Johnson//Becker, PLLC, said:
“Although we are pleased that Sunbeam finally recalled its dangerous and defective pressure cooker that has severely burned so many unsuspecting consumers, we will keep filing lawsuits to hold them accountable in Court until they fairly compensate our clients for the injuries and harm that they have caused. In addition, we will keep representing victims of exploding pressure cookers until all pressure cooker manufacturers with defective and unsafe pressure cookers make the decision to recall their pressure cookers as well.”
Crock-Pot Multi-Cooker Burn Injuries
Incidents caused by defective Crock Pot pressure cookers have resulted in trips to the emergency room, doctor’s offices and a long road to recovery. Victims of faulty Crock Pots have endured extreme pain, both in the moment of explosion and long after the incident, and have lost time at work, socializing, and with their families.
Potential damages that can be caused by an exploding pressure cooker include:
- First-Degree Burns, Second-Degree Burns, and Third-Degree Burns (severe thermal burns)
- Doctor Visits and/or Hospitalization
- Skin Grafts
- Lost Time from Work
- Permanent Scarring and/or Disfigurement
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Other Injuries
Crock-Pot Multi-Cooker Pressure Cooker Litigation Guide
Interested in downloading our Pressure Cooker Litigation Guide? Learn more about the pressure cooker litigation team at Johnson//Becker and Meet the Attorney and Co-Chair of our Consumer Products and Mass Tort Department.
Crock-Pot Lawsuits Filed by Johnson//Becker Pressure Cooker Lawyers
As our lawyers stated in one recent Crock Pot lawsuit filing, we believe that Crock Pot’s manufacturer Sunbeam “put profit ahead of safety by continuing to sell its Pressure Cookers to consumers [and] failing to warn said consumers of the serious risks posed by the defects.”
Crock Pot hardly deserves credit for its recall, one it undertook only after many reports of injuries to consumers. As our lawyers allege in one recent Complaint against Crock Pot’s manufacturer, Sunbeam Products “ignored and/or concealed its knowledge of these defects in its Pressure Cookers… in order to continue generating a profit.”
Crock Pot’s financial success should not come at the expense of injured customers. Our law firm has represented dozens of Crock Pot customers seeking compensation for their injuries including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, scarring and other negative impacts related to the incident caused by their exploding Crock Pot Multi-Cookers.
These damages are not just skin deep or financial in nature. One victim of a Crock Pot Multi-Cooker spent three days in the hospital and suffered adverse side effects from a medication prescribed to treat her injuries. One woman said she felt like her burn disfigurement made her “scary [for her child] to look at,” while another had to stop breast-feeding her infant as she recovered from her injuries.
She Rebuilt Her Body. Then a Crock-Pot Pressure Cooker Ruined Everything.
A few years ago, T.E. decided she wanted to look and feel different.
Over the course of a year, through an intense workout routine and changed eating habits, she lost 90 pounds. T.E. was proud of her new strength, and how she looked in clothes. She had worked hard for her new body.
That period of renewed self-confidence came to a halt one night in 2019, as T.E. went to prepare a meal using her Crock-Pot pressure cooker. T.E. had purchased the device after seeing numerous ads on television. As promised, the cooker managed to slash the cooking time on beans, a favorite of T.E.’s family.
“I loved it,” she says of her pressure cooker. “It worked great.”
Until it didn’t. On this night, as T.E. prepared other dishes to be served along with the beans, the lid to her Crock-Pot suddenly and violently exploded off. The lid flew with such force that it bounced off the ceiling and hit T.E. in the face.
The scalding hot and pressurized beans had also erupted, making a mess, including on T.E.. An admitted ‘neat freak’, she made cleaning the kitchen her first priority. Only later would T.E. be told that she had gone into shock, and could not fully feel the pain of the burns to her chest.
As the pain set in, T.E. went to visit her mother, who insisted on calling 911. T.E. was taken to a burn unit in Atlanta, about a half-hour from her home in Conyars.
“By that time, I was in severe pain,” says T.E.. “The pain medications they gave me, I would be praying that they would kick in.”
After a couple painful days of bed rest, T.E. returned home. For months, her daily routine of working as a house cleaner and exercising was replaced with repeated cleanings and redressing of her wounds.
Perhaps just as bad, the discoloration and subsequent scarring had hit T.E. in a point of personal pride.
“Bodybuilding was something I was proud of,” T.E. says. “It made me feel confident. With this happening, and the scars… there was probably a year that went by where I didn’t want to show my chest.”
T.E. says it wasn’t until she talked to a friend that she considered hiring an attorney.
In fact, about a year after T.E. was injured, Crock-Pot recalled 900,000 of its pressure cookers, citing the risk of unsecured lids and steaming explosions exactly like what happened to her. At the time of the recall, there were at least 119 incidents of exploding Crock-Pot pressure cookers, with 99 injuries related to those incidents.
T.E. is among dozens of victims who have retained Johnson//Becker attorneys to take legal action against Crock-Pot’s parent company, Sunbeam. She still uses a slow cooker made by the same company, but would never touch the pressure cooker that scarred her.
T.E. learned at least a couple things from her kitchen nightmare. First, she will never use another pressure cooker, and wishes Crock-Pot’s version had never even hit the market.
And second, some things are simply worth the wait.
“I feel like if something like this could happen, you should just do the old school way of making your beans, even if takes forever.”
Complaints & Case Repository – Crock-Pot Litigation Documents
Though each Crock Pot case has its own facts and details, our law firm has repeatedly found what we are alleging are the same flaws in design and manufacturing leading to customer injuries.
Below is a list of just some of the more recent pressure cooker explosion lawsuits our lawyers have filed against Crock Pot’s manufacturer. Please feel free to review the complaints to learn more.
- A California woman who suffered “substantial burn injuries” after her Crock Pot exploded in May 2020.
- A Florida woman who sued Sunbeam Products Inc. in January 2022, about four years after she sustained severe burns.
- A lawsuit filed December 2020 in Tennessee, just weeks after Crock Pot pressure cookers were recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- A March 2022 lawsuit on behalf of a California woman with serious burns in April 2020.
- A California burn victim who sued Sunbeam Products Inc. in March 2022 after scalding hot contents exploded.
- A November 2021 lawsuit on behalf of a Georgia burn victim.
- A January 2022 lawsuit on behalf of a California woman injured by a Crock Pot in January 2020.
- A lawsuit on behalf of an Oklahoma minor injured by a Crock Pot pressure cooker roughly one month after its purchase.
- A July 2020 lawsuit against Crock Pot’s manufacturer on behalf of a Minnesota woman.
- An August 2021 lawsuit on behalf of a client from West Virginia whose Crock Pot pressure cooker exploded in September 2019.
Will my Crock-Pot Pressure Cooker Lawsuit be Handled Individually or as Part of a Class Action Lawsuit?
Johnson//Becker will handle and file your case individually, giving your case the individual care and attention you deserve. Our lawyers feel strongly that it is not in our clients’ best interest to file or join a Crock Pot class action lawsuit for two reasons. First, class actions are designed to address damages that are usually economic in nature, not personal injuries, the severity and effect of which will vary from person to person. In other words, what is a fair resolution in one case may not be a fair resolution in another case. In addition, in a class action, the control and decision-making process is consolidated with one “Class Representative”, who oversees making decisions for everyone in the class. If that Class Representative is not you, someone you have never met and who has no incentive to put your best interests first will get to make the decisions that will affect your case.
Finally, we feel strongly that it is in our client’s best interest to file an individual Crock Pot lawsuit, as class action lawsuits in product liability personal injury cases typically result in far lower settlements. At Johnson//Becker our goal is to maximize compensation for our clients, and for this reason we only file individual lawsuits.
Questions About a Crock-Pot Lawsuit? Contact a Johnson//Becker Lawyer for a Free Case Review.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective Crock Pot pressure cooker, you may want to speak with the lawyers at Johnson//Becker. We are actively filing new Crock Pot lawsuits across the country, and you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries.
We offer a Free Case Evaluation. Please contact us using the form below or by calling us at (800) 279-6386.
We would be honored to speak with you and respond promptly to every inquiry we receive.