NJ woman sues Home Shopping Network over burns from pressure cooker

By Jim Boyle | Jul 11, 2014

A New Jersey woman suffered first and second degree burns when the pressure cooker

she purchased from the Home Shopping Network (HSN) unexpectedly sprayed boiling water, according to a personal injury suit filed at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Kelly McGowan, of Berlin, N.J., seeks compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $100,000 on nine separate counts from HSN and the maker of the appliance, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

According to the complaint, McGowan purchased the pressure cooker on June 7, 2008, through an order placed on HSN. The complaint says that the pressure cooker prepares food by boiling liquids inside a sealed pot, producing steam that is captured inside the appliance and cooks the meal.

On March 17, 2013, McGowan began to prepare a meal of corned beef and cabbage by mixing all the ingredients and closing the lid on the pressure cooker. The complaint says that 70 minutes later, McGowan placed additional ingredients into the appliance, secured the lid and set the timer for an additional seven minutes.

When the time was up, the plaintiff moved the pressure cooker back on the counter, and the lid allegedly shot into the air and the liquid from the cooker sprayed her face and chest, causing severe burns.

McGowan claims that the defendants displayed gross negligence by designing, manufacturing and selling the device and failing to ensure the pressure cooker would not explode. The defendants also allegedly failed to properly inspect the device or adequately warn the users of potential hazards. The design and manufacture of the appliance was completely in the defendants' hands, the suit says, which makes them solely responsible for the injuries suffered by McGowan.

The suit also claims a breach of warranty because the sale of the appliance implied that it was safe for its ordinary use by the plaintiff. McGowan's husband, Richard, has also filed for loss of consortium with his wife, claiming the injury deprived him of McGowan's support and companionship.

The plaintiffs are represented by Keith Erbstein of Young Ricchiuti Caldwell & Heller, LLC, in Philadelphia.

The case ID number is 140700212.

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