At least eight burn injury victims have filed product liability lawsuits against Conagra Foods, the manufacturer of Pam cooking spray after the cans exploded in their kitchens. According to a CBS news report, the incidents involved Pam cooking spray or similar products from Conagra that may have an allegedly faulty U-shaped vent system in the bottom, a design the company says it has phased out.
Potentially Defective Can Design
The lawsuits claim the spray cans are simply not safe. Maria Mariani, one of the plaintiffs, told CBS that a can of Wellsley Farms cooking spray, made by Conagra, exploded leaving her with burns covering nearly 30 percent of her body and requiring three surgeries. Mariani said she had turned on the stove burners to help heat her mom’s apartment and a short time later, a can of cooking spray kept just inches away, exploded.
CBS has posted a video that shows a can of Pam cooking spray exploding in a Houston restaurant. The cook at the restaurant was engulfed in flames and suffered serious injuries. In that case, the cooking spray was on a shelf in front of the grill. The cans in question usually hold 10 ounces or more and have a special venting mechanism. The products are sold at wholesale stores such as Costco. Conagra has said it stands by all its products and that the cans are safe when “used correctly.”
However, the company said the vented can design was used on a limited number of cans over the last several years and removed it from product earlier this year. The company points to warning labels on the product which say the cans may explode if left on a stove or “near a heat source.” Conagra insists that the cans with the vented design are still on store shelves and are safe if used properly. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has said it is aware of the lawsuits and consumer complaints and is looking into the issue.
Product Liability Issues
When defectively designed products cause injuries and damages, the manufacturer of the defective product can be held financially responsible for the losses incurred. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of skin graft surgeries, disabilities and permanent injuries, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced product defect lawyer who has successfully pursued similar cases against large corporations will be able to assist victims and their families in securing justice and maximum compensation for their tremendous losses.
Link to video of explosion: https://www.cbs17.com/video/pam-facing-lawsuit-after-spray-can-explodes_20190508214803/1990260038