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Man awarded damages for popcorn injury

An American court has awarded substantial damages to a man who claimed he became ill after years of breathing in the fumes of microwave popcorn, reports Yahoo!

The 59-year-old from Colorado was diagnosed with a respiratory condition known as 'popcorn lung' in 2007, after eating the microwave popcorn on an almost daily basis for a number of years. A few previous cases, brought by popcorn factory workers, have linked the condition to diacetyl, which is contained in the butter flavouring added to some popcorn.

The court found that the liability for the man's injury was shared between the manufacturer of the popcorn (80%) and the supermarket where he bought it (20%) for failing to warn of the alleged dangers of diacetyl, and awarded him compensation amounting to $7.2 million. According to Yahoo! both organisations intend to appeal against the ruling.

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£300m support for future mesothelioma victims

From 25th July, newly diagnosed victims of mesothelioma will receive help through a new support scheme, the Minister for Welfare, Lord Freud, and the Association of British Insurers have announced.

The new scheme will allow around 3,000 mesothelioma victims across the UK who are unable to claim compensation because they cannot trace a liable employer or employers’ liability insurer to receive approximately £300 million in payments in the first 10 years.

Although the majority of people are able to claim compensation through the employers’ liability insurance held by their employer, more than 300 mesothelioma sufferers a year currently lose out on compensation because they are unable to trace a liable employer or employers’ liability insurer.

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Irish Injuries Board annual review 2011

InjuriesBoard.ie has published its review of 2011, which shows that compensation totalling €210 million was awarded in 2011 in respect of 9,833 personal injury claims. The average award in the period was €21,339. During the year the Board made an award of €829,444, its highest to date.

Award values via the Injuries Board remained consistent with awards through the Courts. The average award in 2011 was €21,339, down 3.8% on 2010. This reduction is largely due to a reduction in the proportion of work related claims – typically of higher value – and reduced loss of earnings, given lower salaries across the economy.

The total value of awards in the period increased by 23% but this was largely driven by an increase in the number of awards assessed in the period. Underlying claims volumes remained stable, increasing by 3% in the period and suggesting that the often mooted increase in claims during recessionary times has not occurred.

Over three quarters of awards (76.5%) were for injuries from road traffic accidents, while the remainder were split between workplace (8.4%) and public place (15.1%) accidents.

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Girl awarded compensation for car crash injuries

A young girl who suffered severe injuries after she was involved in a car crash has been awarded a compensation payment worth millions of pounds, reports the Daily Mail.

Cerys Edwards, who is now six-years-old, was only a baby when her family's car was hit head-on by a car being driven on the wrong side of the road at 70mph in a 30mph zone. The accident caused major injuries to Cerys's brain and spine. She is now paralysed, unable to talk, reliant on a ventilator and requires 24-hour care.

According to the Daily Mail, the judge, in what he described as the “saddest' case he had ever come across, awarded Cerys a lump sum of just under £5 million, plus annual payments of £450,000 for the rest of her life.

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Compensation awarded for asbestos related illness

The High Court has awarded a former miner around £70,000 in compensation after he developed mesotheliomia caused by exposure to asbestos at work, reports the BBC.

The 92-year-old had worked as a miner in Nottinghamshire for over 20 years, and the Department of Energy and Climate Change has admitted that he was exposed to asbestos during his time there.

As a result of his illness, Dennis Ball had to move out of his home last year, and now lives in a nursing home.

According to the BBC, Mr Ball's lawyer said that the court decision "paves the way for further elderly sufferers to receive settlements which reflect the pain and distress the disease causes, regardless of their age."

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