Pressure cooker explodes, burns plaintiff. $4.95M. Los Angeles County.


Non-economic damages for burn victim are contested.

The Case

  • Case Name: Precious King v. Maxi-Matic USA Inc.
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles Superior Court / BC637685
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, October 22, 2018
  • Date Action was Filed: Monday, October 17, 2016
  • Type of Case: Products Liability
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Victor E. Chavez
  • Plaintiffs:
    Precious King, 41, cashier.
  • Defendants:
    Maxi-Matic USA Inc.
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $4,950,000
  • Net Verdict or Award: $5,000,000+ with pre-judgment interest
  • Non-Economic Damages:

    Past: $1,654,000

    Future: $3,296,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 4 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes.
  • Jury Polls: 12-0

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Daniels Fine Israel Schonbuch & Lebovits by Moses Lebovits and Parham Nikfarjam, Los Angeles.

    The Gertler Law Firm by Louis Gertler, New Orleans, LA. (Admitted Pro-Hac Vice.)

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Buckley Law Group, P.A. by Michael Buckley, Beverly Hills.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Tracee Short M.D., general surgery. (Treating physician.)

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On June 26, 2016, plaintiff was utilizing the Elite Bistro by Maxi-Matic, 8-quart Digital Pressure Cooker, model number EPC-808P (“pressure cooker”) to prepare a pot roast. Plaintiff placed the roast into the pressure cooker along with beef broth. Plaintiff believes she fully closed the lid by sliding the lever. Thereafter, she turned on the pressure cooker.  

    After approximately 20 minutes, the pressure cooker emitted a strange rattling noise from inside the pot. This odd noise prompted plaintiff to attend to the pressure cooker. As she attempted to unplug the pressure cooker to allow the system to de-pressurize, the lid unexpectedly and violently exploded off the machine, causing hot steam and liquid to splash all over her body including her face, chest, and arms.  Plaintiff waived claims for loss of earnings and medical expenses.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff sought recovery under strict products liability.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Several days before trial, defendants decided to not contest liability. The case was tried only for past and future non-economic damages.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Second degree burns to over 14% of plaintiff's body (including face, chest, arms, and breasts), resulting in scarring and keloid formation.

  • Emotional distress.

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: Waived.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Medical: Waived.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: Waived.
  • Special Damages Claimed - Future Lost Earnings: Waived.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $749,999.99 four months before trial.
  • Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $350,000

Additional Notes

Plaintiff lives in Louisiana, but defendant company is based in the City of Industry.