The products we purchase every day from stores are expected to work as advertised and not cause harm to consumers. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Products could be unreasonably dangerous due to defective design, manufacture, or advertising. Such was the case for a woman in Texas who was preparing a peach cobbler suffered severe burns when a can of Pam cooking spray she had just used to coat the baking dish suddenly exploded in her kitchen. Others across the country had the same experience, and suffered similar injuries due to the defective product.
According to reports, the woman placed the Pam spray can on a wooden cart that was close to her stove. She placed the can there so she could put the peach cobbler in the oven for cooking. The woman reported suddenly hearing a loud sound and then witnessed the cooking spray shoot out of the bottom of the can through its u-shaped vents. The can and its contents then exploded into flames, resulting in second and third-degree burns on the woman over 27% of her body. She was also blinded in one of her eyes. News organizations reported that the woman spent a week in a medically induced coma. Since the accident happened, about two years ago, the woman had to change careers due to the disfigurement on her body that resulted from the burns.
Conagra Facing Lawsuits
The woman filed suit against the manufacturer of Pam Cooking spray, Conagra. Her lawsuit was just one of six filed in May of 2019 against the company. By September of 2019, Conagra was facing 33 lawsuits, according to NBC Chicago, all claiming the u-shaped vent system design at the bottom of Pam Cooking Spray cans made the product more likely to spontaneously explode. Most of the plaintiffs in the lawsuits against the food giant suffered significant burns and required skin grafts as treatment for scarring.
The lawsuits allege that Conagra failed to adequately warn consumers of the risk of explosion of the Pam Cooking Spray cans on the warning labels placed on the product. Because Conagra is based in Chicago, Illinois, all of the lawsuits were filed in Cook County. DS Containers, a Japanese-based business that created the design for the spray cans, was also named as an additional defendant in the lawsuits.
According to the lawsuits filed against the defendants, the four u-shaped vents in the Pam Cooking Spray cans are designed to relieve pressure in the event the can overheats. These vents, however, cause flammable liquid — including propane and butane — to seep out. This happens even when the Pam Cooking Spray cans are properly stored and used in the manner recommended on the product’s instruction label. Notably, the product’s warning label states the can should not be exposed to temperatures of more than 120 degrees and should not be stored near a heat source. This u-shaped design vent system was reportedly used on cans primarily intended for restaurant use — the larger cans that are 10 oz. or more. These cans appeared under the Pam brand label as well as other store brands manufactured by Conagra including Wellsley Farms, Sysco, and Members Mark.
We Can Help
If you were injured by Pam cooking spray or another defective product, contact the personal injury attorneys at H&P Law. We will help you recover compensation for your injuries.