Switch to ADA Accessible Theme Close Menu
Florida Injury Attorney

Plaintiff Awarded $7.1M In Damages After Cooking Spray Can Explodes


An Illinois jury awarded a plaintiff $7.1 million in a personal injury product liability lawsuit involving a can of cooking spray that exploded causing her severe burn injuries. The woman was at work when the accident occurred. The ensuing explosion set her on fire. The verdict was issued in September of 2023. It is the first of numerous cases that have been filed against Conagra Brands relating to can explosions of their cooking spray. Conagra Brands manufactures the cooking sprays Pam and Swell.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was working at a social club kitchen in May 2017 when “suddenly and without warning” a can of Swell cooking spray “exploded into a fireball” causing severe burn injuries. The plaintiff contends that she suffered deep second-degree burns on her head, face, arms, and hands. She claims that scar tissue from the burns continues to constrict her movement even 6 years later.

The defendant, Conagra Brands, was ordered to pay $3.1 million in compensatory damages and another $4 million in punitive damages to the plaintiff. An attorney representing the plaintiff says that there are 50 more cases pending against Conagra Brands making similar allegations that cans exploded violently causing burn injuries to unsuspecting victims.

What’s wrong with the cans? 

According to the plaintiff’s attorneys, the accidents involve spray can models manufactured between 2011 and 2019. These models used a venting system with a lower threshold for heat than previous models. When the can overheats, the vents at the bottom open up to release pressure. This causes the can to discharge the flammable contents into the air, the lawsuit explained. The cooking spray that injured the plaintiff was stored 18 inches above a stove. The plaintiffs contended that, in a commercial kitchen, that is a normal place to store a can of cooking spray.

Conagra has argued that its spray cans are safe when used properly. They said they disagreed with the verdict and are exploring their options for an appeal. In 2019, Conagra was asked about the potentially defective spray cans. The company said that the vent system was used in a limited number of cans and has since been eliminated after a product redesign. They said that the redesign was not related to the lawsuits and was instead an effort to standardize the company’s cans.

Elements of product liability 

In the case mentioned above, the plaintiff is arguing that the spray cans were defectively designed making them overly prone to exploding during normal or anticipated use of the product. The defendant is facing 50 product liability claims in addition to the $7.1 million verdict entered against it alleging that spray cans violently and unexpectedly exploded.

Talk to a Florida Product Liability Attorney Today 

The Florida personal injury lawyers at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert represent the interests of plaintiffs who have been injured by dangerous or defective products. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation, and learn more about how we can help.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

© 2019 - 2024 Halpern, Santos & Pinkert, P.A. Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved.