A man who ate two bags of microwave popcorn a day for 10 years has won a $7.2 million lawsuit claiming the artificial butter smell gave him “popcorn lung.”
No word on the condition of his heart.
According to CBS Denver, 59-year-old Colorado man Wayne Watson sued the popcorn manufacturer Gilster-Mary Lee, along with Kroger and Dillon Foods.
Attorneys for Watson said the microwave popcorn should have come with a warning label. King Soopers lawyers, where he purchased the popcorn, lawyers for the supermarket said they “might have well have warned that there are aliens popping out of the bags.”
“They thought that no consumer would ever be exposed to enough of it to make a difference. Well, they rolled the dice and they lost,” Watson said to ABC News.
Reuters reported that a jury found Gilster-Mary Lee Corporation, the popcorn manufacturer, liable for 80 percent of the $7,217,961 in damages, and the King Soopers supermarket, where Watson bought the popcorn, and its parent company, Kroger, responsible for 20 percent.
Quality testers in a number of popcorn factories have won or settled lawsuits after claiming to have popcorn lung. The ailment comes from a compound known as diacetyl, that has since been removed from microwave butter-flavored popcorn. The Legal Examiner reports that popcorn lung is a nonreversible lung disease that can at times be fatal. Its symptoms include shortness of breath and wheezing.
Gilster-Mary Lee released the following statement, according to Time: “Gilster-Mary Lee has manufactured and provided safe, quality microwave popcorn to consumers for over two decades. We are very disappointed by the decision of the jury in light of very clear evidence which was presented, including the millions of consumers who have safely used and enjoyed microwave popcorn since it was introduced.”