JOPLIN, MO. Twenty-nine more workers filed a lawsuit Thursday, claiming they sustained lung damage by working with a butter flavoring used at the Jasper Popcorn Co.
That brings to 72 the number of current or former workers who have sued New York-based International Flavors and Fragrances Inc. and its subsidiary, Bush Boake Allen Inc. of Clifton, N.J.
The latest lawsuit, filed in Jasper County Circuit Court, claims that the workers' lungs were damaged by breathing fumes from diacetyl, which is used in butter flavoring for microwave popcorn.
Diacetyl is a chemical linked to bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare progressive disease more commonly known as popcorn lung. Linda Redman, one of 30 workers who sued the plant in 2001, died April 30 after a long lung illness she blamed on exposure to diacetyl.
The new lawsuit also names other defendants, none of which had been targeted in previous actions involving Jasper Popcorn.
However, Cincinnati-based Givaudan Flavors, which makes a second butter flavoring used at the plant, is among four defendants in two lawsuits filed by workers at the American Pop Corn Co. in Sioux City, Iowa.
International Flavors and Fragrances is named in both of the Iowa lawsuits.