The recovery a Coloradoplaintiff recently received in a product liability lawsuit shocked many legal scholars and commentators. The man received a $7.2 million judgment against a supermarket chain owner and the Gilster-Mary Lee and Dillon Companies regarding injuries linked to eating microwave popcorn. Some legal scholars and commentators were surprised by the sheer size of the verdict the plaintiff received. Others were interested in learning more about how this consumer proved such a case.
The plaintiff alleged microwave popcorn caused his lung disease.
The plaintiff alleged that the defendants either made or distributed microwave popcorn that contained a harmful chemical known to cause lung disease. This chemical, diacetyl, is what gives microwave popcorn its distinctive “butter” flavor. The chemical has been used for years. Unfortunately, over time, this chemical has been linked to a serious lung disease.
Many microwave popcorn plant workers have fallen victim to a rare lung disease. This disease is called bronchiolitis obliterans. The disease is probably better known by its nickname, “popcorn lung disease.” This disease blocks the small airways of a person’s lungs. Breathing becomes difficult for patients with this condition. Some patients struggle so much to breathe that they may even be placed on lung transplant lists. Other patients face months and years of wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Sadly, time does not seem to heal this condition.
I have a serious lung condition. And, in the past, I ate a lot of microwave popcorn. Could the two be related?
Yes, your lung disease could be related to your consumption of microwave popcorn. You should speak to a doctor about your concerns. Linking microwave popcorn consumption with lung disease may not be the first thing your doctor thinks of when evaluating your condition. You may need to express your concerns directly.
If I do have popcorn lung disease, what sorts of damages could I receive by bringing a lawsuit?
The answer to that question is complicated. It depends on where you are and what law applies. It also depends on the nature and severity of your injuries as well as the available evidence. In general, a product maker could be held responsible for your foreseeable injuries. This would include your medical bills and lost wages due to your health concerns. In some situations, damages for pain and suffering or emotional distress may be awarded. In some instances, punitive damages might be appropriate.
Our Illinois personal injury attorneys may be able to help you with your popcorn lung concerns. Contact us for details.
If you are dealing with a lung disease or another ailment and you believe your consumption of microwave popcorn may have contributed to your health problems, contact the Chicago, Illinois personal injury attorneys at Ankin Law Office LLC. We represent clients in product liability cases, and we would like to discuss your potential legal matter with you. If you would like to speak to our Chicago, Illinois personal injury attorneys, contact us by telephone at (312) 600-0000 or by email.