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‘Popcorn Lung’ Lawsuit Nets Colorado Man $7.2 million in Damages

In 2007, Colorado resident Wayne Watson was diagnosed with a severe respiratory illness known as bronciolitis obliterans (commonly referred to as ‘popcorn lung’) after eating two bags of microwave popcorn over a period of 10 years. Watson reportedly contracted the disease from inhaling the artificial butter smell of the popcorn, which is produced by a chemical known as diacetyl. On Wednesday, Watson was awarded a $7.2 million verdict against the popcorn maker and the supermarket that sold it for his injuries.

Free Popcorn Lung Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was diagnosed with bronciolitis obliterans or ‘popcorn lung’ after being exposed to diacetyl, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of the popcorn and we can help.

What’s the problem?

September 21, 2012 – The disease Watson developed, bronciolitis obliterans, is typically found in plant workers exposed to high levels of diacetyl, an artificial flavoring chemical used to give popcorn a buttery smell and taste. Watson filed a lawsuit against the popcorn manufacturer, Gilster-Mary Lee Corp., as well as against the supermarket that sold it, The Kroger Co. and Dillon Companies Inc.

“I probably look like a fairly healthy guy but I only have, on a good day, about 53 percent lung capacity,” Watson told ABC News. “They thought that no consumer would ever be exposed to enough of it to make a difference well they rolled the dice and they lose.”

In response to the growing number of cases of popcorn lung reported in consumers around the country, several microwave popcorn manufacturers have discontinued using diacetyl in their products. Gilster-Mary Lee Corp., the manufacturer found liable in the recent complaint, issued a statement saying that it was disappointed with the verdict, and that it is currently in the process of ‘evaluating next steps.’

As for his award, Watson said he was planning on giving a portion away to charity, but that he would not be using any of the money to buy microwave popcorn.

Do I Have a Popcorn Lung Lawsuit?

The Product Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in popcorn lung lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new popcorn lung injury cases in all 50 states.

Free Popcorn Lung Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was diagnosed with bronciolitis obliterans or ‘popcorn lung’ after being exposed to diacetyl, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a popcorn lung injury suit and we can help.

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