Most people in Lake Charles expect that their food is safe. If they are worried about food, it is generally a fear of food poisoning, but that can usually be avoided with some care. What about developing respiratory problems after eating microwave popcorn? It is an interesting case that many people in Louisiana may not have heard of, but one man who used to eat microwave popcorn on a daily basis recently won a $7 million verdict after repeatedly breathing in a dangerous chemical compound that was previously found in artificial butter.
The 59-year-old man had developed a condition called “popcorn lung” after years of eating the snack. Finally, in 2007, he was diagnosed after he went for a medical check. The condition was strikingly similar to the conditions that popcorn factory workers developed from inhaling butter flavoring.
In separate lawsuits, the quality testers and other factory employees had either won or settled for millions of dollars against their employers. Despite this, the popcorn company never labeled their products or warned consumers that individuals could be injured by inhaling dicetyl.
When consumers are injured by something as seemingly innocuous as popcorn, a manufacturer has a responsibility to compensate consumers for their injuries. Manufacturers have a duty to produce safe products and, when they fail to do so, they can be held liable in products liability lawsuits.
For this man, he has won $7 million from the manufacturer and the store from which he purchased the popcorn. Both parties continue to dispute their involvement in the man’s condition.