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$________ CONFIDENTIAL – Product Liability – Defective product – Pressure cooker lid came off causing boiling contents of cooker to explode out onto plaintiff mother – 7% total surface area suffered burns – Emotional distress as young children witnessed event

Los Angeles County, CA

In this product liability matter, the plaintiff mother alleged that the defendant’s pressure cooker was defective and dangerous, since its lid came off and the hot contents of the cooker exploded all over the plaintiff – leaving her with severe burns to 7% of her body. The plaintiff children witnessed the incident. The defendant denied liability, and disputed the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages.

The plaintiff began to make stew using the defendant’s pressure cooker on January 24, ________. She started the cooker as she had done many times before, and when she heard the "beep" sound indicating that the pressure cooker was finished, she went into the kitchen. As the plaintiff reached for garlic to add to the finished stew from the overhead cupboard, her stomach came in contact with the pressure cooker. The plaintiff saw the lid on the cooker start to move on its own and then pop off. The beef stew exploded out of the pressure cooker, and the plaintiff threw up her hands to shield her face. The stew came in contact with the plaintiff’s breasts, abdomen, and right thigh. The plaintiff’s two minor children witnessed the event. The plaintiff was diagnosed with a 7% total body surface area burn to her breasts, abdomen, and right thigh. She was initially taken by paramedics to the emergency room and evaluated and discharged. The following day, she was seen and transferred back to the hospital for admission. She remained hospitalized until February 1, ________, and was discharged with visiting nurses to continue dressing changes, evaluated at the Burn Clinic for about a month, and then followed up with her doctors. The total medical bills were approximately $________. The plaintiff was not employed and had no loss of earnings claim. The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant, alleging that its pressure cooker was defectively designed and dangerous. The minor plaintiffs sought damages for their emotional distress in seeing their mother injured by the exploding stew.

The defendant denied liability and disputed the plaintiff’s version of the incident, and also disputed the nature and extent of the injuries alleged.

It was anticipated that the plaintiff might have to undergo surgery to get rid of the residual burn scarring of the abdomen, and undergo possible laser surgery to the hyperpigmented portions of her breasts. These procedures were anticipated to cost $________ before reduction to present value.The parties agreed to resolve the plaintiffs’ claims for the sum of $________ prior to a trial in this matter.

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