A microwave popcorn consumer who allegedly developed a lung injury from her exposure to diacetyl, the chemical responsible for the butter flavoring in the product, has sued popcorn manufacturers, retailers and flavoring companies in a Missouri state court, alleging product liability and negligence. Khoury v. ConAgra Foods Inc., No. 0816-CV31620 (Jackson County Circuit Court, Missouri, filed October 10, 2008). Represented by plaintiffs’ lawyer Kenneth McClain, who brought diacetyl-related litigation against employers on behalf of exposed workers with bronchiolitis obliterans and has also sued cigarette manufacturers on behalf of sick smokers, the plaintiff alleges that defendants failed to warn consumers that inhaling the “buttery aroma of Act II” microwave popcorn could cause respiratory damage.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.