A jury in Illinois ordered Chicago-based Conagra Brands to pay $7.1 million to a Pennsylvania woman who was fatally burned when a can of cooking spray caught fire in her workplace kitchen.
According to the complaint filed in 2019, the woman, Tammy Reese, was working in a kitchen at the Hub City Club in Shippensburg, Penn., in May 2017 and using Palm cooking spray when it suddenly “exploded in a ball of fire.” There was an explosion, causing burns”.
Ms. Reese’s lawyer, J. Ms. Reese suffered second-degree burns on her head, face, hands and arms and spent weeks receiving burn care, Craig Smith said.
According to documents filed in Cook County Circuit Court on Monday, the jury ruled in Ms Reese’s favor on charges including liability, design defect, failure to warn, and negligence and willful and wanton conduct.
According to court documents, Palm’s parent company Conagra Brands and several other brands, including Marie Callender’s, Reddi-Vip and Chef Boyardee, are to pay Ms. Reese $3.1 million in compensatory damages and $4 million in punitive damages. will be.
“She has been through a lot and she deserves this compensation,” Mr Smith said. “In this case the can of cooking spray was unreasonably dangerous and they failed to warn about it.”
The lawsuit alleged that the cans were defective because they had a U-shaped vent in the bottom that posed a risk of exploding and that the cooking spray contained “highly flammable substances such as propane and butane.”
About 50 cases involving burn victims are pending against Conagra, being prosecuted by Koskoff and Meyers & Flowers, the two firms representing Ms. Reese.
A Conagra spokesperson said the specific type of cans referred to in the lawsuit have not been available for more than four years. The company also wrote that it disagrees with the jury’s decision and is evaluating whether to appeal.
Conagra points out that Pam and other cooking sprays have clear warning labels that say the product is flammable and should not be left on or near a stove or heat source. The Associated Press, Cooking spray should not be stored above 120 degrees or sprayed near an open flame, the company said.
“The safety of our products and our consumers is always Conagra’s top priority,” the statement said. “We stand behind our cooking spray products, which are safe and effective when used properly and as directed.”