A plaintiff recently won a large verdict in a “popcorn lung” case. The plaintiff received a judgment of over $7 million against a supermarket chain owner and the Gilster-Mary Lee and Dillon Companies. This has caused many popcorn eaters to question whether they too have potential claims.
Large Popcorn Lung Jury Verdict Awarded
The plaintiff in this lawsuit alleged that the companies he sued were responsible either for making or distributing microwaveable popcorn that contained a harmful chemical. This chemical, diacetyl, has been used by microwaveable popcorn makers to create the “butter” flavor in microwaveable popcorn. The plaintiff claimed that he suffered a rare lung disease caused by years of inhaling the butter flavor aroma. He said that he typically ate two bags of microwaveable popcorn every day.
The jury determined that the plaintiff’s lung disease was, in fact, caused by ingesting diacetyl. The jury sent a powerful message to the makers and distributors of these products when it awarded such a substantial dollar figure to the plaintiff.
Future Verdicts May Be Likely
Many people now believe that future lawsuits alleging similar facts and injuries may be likely. Certainly the plaintiff in this lawsuit is not the only consumer who has been affected by microwaveable popcorn. Many popcorn eaters may have developed similar lung conditions. These consumers may have valid legal claims against the makers and distributors of popcorn.
Consumers May Be Worried
Consumers who eat large quantities of popcorn may now question whether they have been affected by chemicals placed in popcorn products. These people need to pay close attention to their bodies so that any symptoms of lung disease are immediately noticed and treated. They should also seek medical advice for any other health-related concerns.
What Are the Symptoms of Popcorn Lung Disease?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, microwaveable popcorn plant workers and flavoring plant workers have developed obstructive lung disease. In many cases, a type of bronchiolitis called constrictive bronchiolitis obliterans was found. When a person suffers from this condition, the smallest airways in the lung (the bronchioles) become scarred and constricted. This blocks the movement of air.
People who are affected by bronchiolitis obliterans may experience:
- coughing (usually without phlegm),
- wheezing, and
- worsening shortness of breath on exertion.
Some victims may experience fever, night sweats, and weight loss.The severity of a person’s symptoms can range from only a mild cough to a severe cough and shortness of breath. Usually, these symptoms develop gradually, but severe symptoms can occur suddenly.
Are You Worried About Popcorn Lung Disease? Contact Our Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys.
If you are concerned that you have been injured after eating microwaveable popcorn, you may want to contact the Chicago personal injury attorneys at Ankin Law Office LLC. We will visit with you about your situation and let you know if we believe you have a valid claim. You may contact our attorneys by telephone at (312) 600-0000 or by email.