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Exposure to Butter Flavoring in Popcorn Results in Record Millions for Injured Worker

Source: Business Insurance

Posted on 18 Aug 2010

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A employee who contracted a rare lung disease after working in a plant that exposed him to diacetyl, an ingredient in butter flavoring used in popcorn, has won a record $30.4 million lawsuit.

Gerardo Solis worked at a plant owned by Illinois-based Flavorchem Corp. between 1998 and 2006, when he was diagnosed with broncholiolitis obliterans, a rare lung disease that reduced his lung capacity by 75 percent.

A jury sided with Solis against BASF Corp., the supplier of the diacetyl.

The award is the highest to date in U.S. cases involving popcorn and butter-flavoring worker lawsuits, according to Independence, Mo.-based Humphrey Farrington & McClain P.C., the firm that represented Solis.

The highest amount previously granted by a jury in cases like Solis’ was $20 million against Bush Boake Allen Inc. and International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. in 2004.