A woman whose skull was cracked and whose face was partially torn off by an exploding whipped cream canister has been awarded €1.1m by a French court.
The trial comes just months after a prominent French lifestyle blogger died after a similar incident involving a whipped cream canister made by the same manufacturer.
A court in the southern French town of Montauban has ruled that Emilie Lada deserved the payout after the household accident in 2013 left her with permanent disabilities, including memory failure and the loss of her sense of taste and smell.
Mrs Lada, then 30, was preparing a mousse at her home when the whipped cream canister she was holding exploded and the plastic lid shot into her face.
Her husband and their two young children were in the kitchen at the time of the accident.
The woman was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries, but recovered. While medical teams were able to reconstruct the woman’s face, she was left with permanent disabilities.
These disabilities were considered severe enough to warrant the seven-figure payout by the importer of the canister, F2J, and its insurance provider AXA, the court ruled.
There have been around 60 serious incidents involving exploding whipped cream canisters since 2013, Mrs Lada’s lawyer said. Several of these have been with the same canister used by Mrs Lada was using, but there have been incidents with other brands too.
France’s National Consumer Institute (the INC) has warned the public that such canisters are dangerous and may not be able to withstand the pressure of the carbon dioxide inside.
Mrs Lada’s lawyer, Emilie Petitgirard, said the unusually high payout was “for a life snatched away”.
“There are serious consequences from the head trauma. She is a young woman who can no longer work, she suffers from memory loss, and has no sense of smell or taste,” she said.
The woman is also said to suffer other brain traumas and has organisational difficulties.
The lawyer said that her client had made an impressive recovery thanks to the “remarkable” word of the surgeons.
“Part of her face was torn off in the explosion, but the surgeons’ work was amazing and the visible damage is minimal now,” Petitgirard said.
The canisters are marketed under the brand name Ard’Time, although it was only the importer and the insurance provider ordered to pay.
On top of the €1.09m for Mrs Lada, they were told to pay 10,000 euros to her husband and two children who witnessed…