Jury Awards Butter-Flavor Worker $20M

A factory worker who claimed his lungs were ruined as a result of mixing flavoring oils used in microwave popcorn was awarded $20 million by a jury Monday.

Eric Peoples was the first of 30 former workers at the Gilster-Mary Lee Corp. plant in Jasper to have his suit heard against the two makers of the butter flavoring. Following a morning of closing arguments, the jury deliberated for a little more than three hours before returning the verdict. . . .

[P]eoples' suit charged that International Flavors and Fragrances and Bush Boake Allen knew their butter flavoring was hazardous, but failed to warn the southwest Missouri plant and its workers of the dangers or provide adequate safety instructions.

There are more cases pending in at least three states. Plus, "Health officials insist people who microwave popcorn and eat it at home are not in danger, although the Environmental Protection Agency is studying the chemicals released into the air when a bag of microwave popcorn is popped."

Details here from the AP via ABCNews.com.