In the News: Diacetyl and Butter Flavoring
News Stories and Articles about Popcorn Lung Disease
in The Joplin Globe
September 5, 2007 - Several major microwave popcorn manufacturers announced that they would no longer use diacetyl to give their popcorn its buttery flavor. Attorney Ken McClain is representing several employees and local residents in lawsuits against a Jasper-based popcorn manufacturer that is still using diacetyl, a chemical linked to popcorn lung disease.
August 19, 2007 - Attorney Ken McClain filed additional lawsuit on behalf of 43 former and current workers at the Jasper Popcorn Co. plant, as well as a man who lived near the plant. This second round of lawsuits came more than a year after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was petitioned and did not institute regulations to protect microwave popcorn manufacturing workers from the harmful effects of diacetyl.
August 6, 2007 - Additional lawsuit filed by attorney Ken McClain names three new defendants, all suppliers of the chemical diacetyl, which allegedly causes popcorn lung disease. Mr. McClain has personally represented all the plaintiffs in the popcorn lung lawsuits filed to date.
August 18, 2006 - Twenty-nine more workers and former workers at the Jasper Popcorn Co. plant filed a lawsuit which claims that the butter-flavored chemical diacetyl caused their lung conditions and popcorn lung disease. Attorney Ken McClain now represents plaintiffs in Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and other states in popcorn lung litigation.
May 3, 2006 - In the popcorn trials, jurors must decide how much money a person's life is worth. These cases have gone on since April 2004, when a Jasper County jury awarded Eric and Cassandra Peoples $20 million, until 2006, when both sides in the long legal battle reached cash settlements in almost all of the pending popcorn lung cases. The workers' attorney, Ken McClain, tried in all cases to make sure that his clients received the best possible settlement. Sadly, former worker Linda Redman died two years after she agreed to a confidential settlement.
December 2004 - A settlement with undisclosed terms was reached in the lawsuit filed by Samantha Taffner against the manufacturers of butter flavoring containing diacetyl. Taffner's attorney, Ken McClain, said "the terms of the settlement are confidential, but my client is very pleased that the settlement will allow her to take care of her health and family in a way that will attempt to minimize future suffering".
Date Unknown - The opening arguments begin today in the third Jasper County lawsuit filed against the manufacturers of diacetyl, the butter flavoring alleged to have caused lung disease in popcorn-plant workers. Three former workers and one current worker are represented by attorney Ken McClain, who is also representing plaintiffs in other lawsuits filed or soon-to-be filed in Hamilton County, Illinois; Marion, Ohio; Shawneetown, Illinois; and Sioux City, Iowa.
July 2004 - Plaintiff Louis Ed Pennell gave his testimony about his life now that he suffers from popcorn lung disease to a Jasper County jury during Pennell's lawsuit on Monday. Pennell is represented by Ken McClain, who also represented Eric Peoples and helped him secure $20 million in Peoples' lawsuit in March 2004.
July 2004 - After seven days of testimony, a settlement was reached in the lawsuit of Louis Ed Pennell, the financial terms of which were sealed. Attorney for Pennell, Ken McClain, said he and his clients were pleased with the settlement, and they hope that this settlement might pave the way for settlements in the remaining 23 cases that are pending.
April 2004 - Moments before the jury was to announce its verdict, a confidential settlement was reached in the lawsuit by Linda Redman. Redman's attorney, Ken McClain, said he was pleased with the settlement. "We're very happy," he said. "This means that (Redman) will receive money quickly, and there certainly won't be an appeal. This is good for Linda." Redman also said she was pleased with the agreement.
March 2004 - Eric Peoples and his wife were awarded $20 million in compensatory damages for personal injury in their lawsuit against the manufacturers of diacetyl, which they said caused Peoples' popcorn lung disease. The jury deliberated for three hours and 10 minutes, causing the plaintiff's attorney Ken McClain to call the evidence in the case "clear and convincing". McClain will represent Linda Redman in the next popcorn lung lawsuit in April in Joplin.