Processing Magazine

Popcorn Chemical Lawsuit Nets Worker $30 Million Against BASF

August 17, 2010
A jury in Chicago has awarded a $30.4 million verdict to a chemical-flavoring plant worker disabled by exposure to diacetyl, an ingredient in butter flavoring used at a Jasper, Ill., popcorn plant where several workers claimed similar injury, reports the Joplin Globe. The verdict was awarded to Gerardo Solis, and against BASF Corp., a supplier of diacetyl and the world’s largest chemical company. Solis worked at a Flavorchem Corp. plant in the Chicago area between the years 1998 and 2006 when he was diagnosed with a rare lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans. The attorney representing Solis, said he is totally disabled with 25 percent of normal lung capacity and is projected to require a lung transplant within the next 10 years. The other verdicts previously awarded was $20 million granted by a Jasper County jury to Eric Peoples of Carthage and his wife in 2004. Two $15 million verdicts and a $2.7 million award were rendered to other workers at the former Jasper Popcorn Co. plant. Those cases involved Bush Boake Allen Inc. and International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., suppliers of butter flavoring to the plant and not BASF.