Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

Conagra insists that it's PAM canisters safe despite being sued

On May 7, at least six different lawsuits were filed by various plaintiffs against Conagra, the manufacturer of the popular cooking spray PAM. The plaintiffs all argue that they were seriously injured by exploding cans when using their product.

All of the incidents chronicled in the lawsuits occurred starting on July 15, 2017, and ending on April 5, 2019. The PAM cooking spray that caused the injuries are the ones with the "u-shaped vents" on the bottom of them. They're no longer manufactured, but some stores still have them on their shelves.

In one filing, one of the plaintiffs chronicled how she used PAM to spray a baking dish then placed the canister next to her stove. When she went to open her stove, the can exploded causing her to suffer lung damage, blindness in one eye and severe burns resulting in disfigurement and scarring.

Another lawsuit filed by a married couple chronicled how they'd left the canister on a shelf over their gas stove. When it fell on top of their range, a fireball engulfed them.

Conagra has yet to issue any product recalls.

When asked to comment about the recent filings, a spokesperson for Conagra said that the safety of their products is a top priority for them. They acknowledged that they're no longer manufacturing the canister in question. They said that they'd stopped producing it simply because they've standardized their product design.

They said that they continue to stand behind the canister involved in all these incidents. The spokesperson noted that PAM is 100 % safe when used as instructed.

The can in question comes with a warning label letting consumers know about its flammability. It also says that it shouldn't be stored above a stove and that they recommend not using it on an open flame or on a heated surface. The consumers who've filed suit thus far are seeking more than the jurisdictional limits as damages in their cases.

Thousands of consumer products like toys, medical devices, furniture and food are voluntarily recalled by designers, manufacturers or distributors on an annual basis. These recalls often only happen after one or more people get injured by them though. New Haven residents who have been hurt by a consumer product should consult with a products liability attorney who can help them hold negligent parties accountable for their injuries.

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