A number of former employees of an animal-food flavoring maker have sued
companies that make or sell the butter-flavoring chemical diacetyl, alleging
that occupational exposure caused them to contract a debilitating lung
disease known as bronchiolitis obliterans (or popcorn lung). Huerta v. Aldrich
Chem. Co., Inc., No. 11-9461 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook Cty., filed September 9,
2011). The 112-count complaint alleges negligence, strict liability design
defect and failure to warn, conspiracy, and loss of consortium. The plaintiffs
seek unspecified compensatory damages. According to the complaint,
“Defendants knew or should have known of the hazardous nature of their
diacetyl and diacetyl-containing flavors both at the time of sale and when
plaintiffs were exposed to such products while working at the Feed Flavors
facility. [Yet], defendants failed to warn of the defective nature of their
flavoring chemicals and failed to give instructions on safe use of the flavoring

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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.