A Pennsylvania woman was awarded $7.1million from Conagra Brands on Monday after a can of Swell cooking spray exploded and engulfed her in flames in 2017.
Tammy Reese was working in the kitchen at Hub City Club in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania on May 9, 2017, when the can of cooking spray located on the shelf above the stove stated to spew.
According to a court document from 2019, the can ‘suddenly and without warning began spraying its extremely flammable contents’ before it fell off the shelf and ignited Reese and the kitchen on fire.
She suffered second-degree burns which continue to impede her movement, her lawsuit explains.
‘Nothing can begin to describe the excruciating pain and fear I felt that day,’ Reese said in a statement.
Reese is just one of multiple people who have allegedly been injured by exploding cooking spray cans produced by Conagra Brands.
Tammy Reese (pictured) was engulfed in flames on May 9, 2017, in the kitchen at Hub City Club in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania when a can of Swell cooking unexpectedly exploded
The can of Swell cooking spray was sitting on a shelf just above the stove that Reese was working near when it ‘suddenly and without warning began spraying its extremely flammable contents’
Reese suffered painful second-degree burns to her head, face, arms and hands when the can erupted. The lawsuit said that on top of cooking oil, propane and butane were also in the can
She suffered intense second-degree burns on her head, face, arms and hands from the explosion and also suffered ‘burns, scarring and disfigurement,’ according to the lawsuit filed on her behalf.
The lawsuit also described that Reese endured ‘great pain and anguish in both mind and body’ and still has constricted movement in her body after six years.
It also detailed that she has had to take on substantial medical expenses because of the injuries she sustained.
The contents of Swell cooking spray used by Reese included a mixture of cooking oil and propellants, including propane and butane- extremely flammable materials.
‘Tammy Reese could not have discovered any defect in the Swell Cooking Spray through the exercise of due care,’ the 2019 lawsuit detailed.
The suit also acknowledged that Reese’s employer couldn’t have known the dangers of the cooking spray at the time.
Conagra Brands is an American consumer packaged goods company based in Chicago, Illinois and has been in the industry for 100 years.
The company is also known for other popular brands like PAM cooking spray, Bertolli pasta products, Duncan Hines baking products, the pickle brand Vlasic, and many more.
According to the Cook County Court verdict, Conagra Brands has to pay out $3.1million in compensatory damages, along with $4million in punitive damages to Reese.
Conagra Brands is an American consumer packaged goods company based in Chicago, Illinois. They are known for other popular brands like their PAM cooking sprays, Bertolli pasta products, and many others
Reese’s husband Ed (pictured) posted to his Facebook on Tuesday after the lawsuit had been settled on Monday and said ‘Justice has been served!!!’
Compensatory damages are a type of monetary compensation that is awarded to an injured party in a civil lawsuit, while punitive damages are there to punish the defendant for their heinous actions.
In an emailed statement to WPVI Conagra Brands said that they disagreed with the jury’s final verdict.
‘We continue to stand by our cooking spray products, which are safe and effective when used correctly, as instructed. We are evaluating our legal options, including appeal,’ the statement said.
J. Craig Smith, one of Reese’s attorney’s revealed that there are 50 pending cases against the food product company for other burn victims in the US alone.
He also said that the company has refused to recall the ‘defective’ cans.
When cooking oil cans get too hot, the vents on the u-shaped portion of the can open and release pressure just before it disperses its flammable substances.
According to the Cook County Court verdict, Conagra Brands has to pay out $3.1million in compensatory damages, along with $4million in punitive damages to Reese
The can that attacked Reese was stored on shelf about 18 inches above the hot stove, the lawsuit detailed.
Conagra has gone on to say that their cooking sprays have clear warning labels on the front and back of the packaging that the contents are flammable. They also said that it is instructed that the cans shouldn’t be left on or near a hot stove or heat source.
On Tuesday, Reese’s husband Ed posted to his Facebook and said: ‘Justice has been served!!!’
DailyMail.com has reached out to Tammy Reese for further comment.