Man won $7m’s against supermarket chain for selling hazardous microwave popcorn

· September 20, 2012

A Colorado man has won $7million after suing a Denver supermarket chain and food manufacturer on the grounds that their microwave popcorn gave him a chronic lung condition known as ‘popcorn lung’.

Wayne Watson, 59, from Centennial, was diagnosed with respiratory issues in 2007 and was told by doctors that someone who ate as much microwave popcorn as he did might well be in danger of inhaling hazardous vapours from the bu**er flavouring, diacetyl.

During the trial that began September 4, Mr Watson and his attorney argued that the supermarket that supported his self-confessed three-bag-a-day popcorn habit, should have provided a health warning on the packaging.

‘Who would ever reasonably think that popping popcorn in your own home, no matter how its packaged or processed would all of a sudden turn into an agent for toxic lung disease,’ said Watson.

Talking about his love of popcorn before he became sick and unable to walk long distances over four years ago and originally filed his suit, Watson was enthusiastic.

‘You would get that woof! That little woof when you opened it,’ said Watson.

‘And you breathe it in.’

Indeed, it is that breathing action that Watson claims is the cause of his current illness and is the reason why he is suing King Soopers.

Watson alleges that the bu**er flavouring in the microwave popcorn contains chemicals that vaporise when heated, and that inhaling this causes the severe damage to the respiratory system.

He accuses the defendants of making and selling an unsafe product and of failing to warn consumers about the alleged dangers.

Watson’s doctor at National JEwish Hospital in Denver is a key witness in the case for his legal team.

‘(I asked) was he exposed to or was he around a lot of popcorn? And his jaw dropped and he asked me how I would possibly know that about him,’ Dr. Ceclie Rose said to CBS 4.

Countering his claim, lawyers for King Soopers contend that it was in fact Watson’s career selling carpet cleaning fluid that led to his lung condition and not the microwaveable popcorn.

They even stated that Watson has misled the court on his daily consumption of popcorn.

In 2009, Ronald Kuiper, a 69-year-old retired bu**er flavour mixer was awarded a $7.5 million settlement just prior to dying of heart and lung failure in March of that year.

Kuiper worked at the American Pop Corn Co., in the 1990s, mixing artificial flavoring for ‘bu**er flavor’ products. In 2006 he was diagnosed with a condition called ‘popcorn lung’ , after working at the plant for 26 years.

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Discussion7 Comments

  1. Reme says:

    Thats crazy..

  2. D_boi says:

    Why sue King Soopers? Why not the popcorn manufacturer?

  3. Cease says:

    I’m glad he won , is not about how much he ate is about the flavoring being hazardous for your health.

    I think this is just like the case of the Mcdonalds coffee the gold standard to what people think are frivolous law suit, people let the media make the decisions instead of actually researching the case. In the Mcdonalds’s case the coffee gave the victim third-degree burns in over six percent of her body and there is nothing frivolous about permanent tissue damage. The picture were horrifying and the surgery the lady needed is extremely painful.

    I’m pretty sure there is much more information about these issue , but obviously the public will just focus on the part of he eating 3 bags of popcorn.

    While I think there are a lot of cases where the judge drops the ball , I know that it takes a lot of time and research for these type of cases to get handle , specially when you are dealing with big corporations.

  4. BzB says:

    them chemicals ain’t no joke. i try not to eat microwave food at all.

    three bags of micro popcorn a day tho?

    • MoorFedayeen says:

      You know ppl look at me crazy when I say I rather heat my food with dry heat, and they’re too stupid to realize “nuke”ing your food aint a figure of speech. Now why would I wanna do that to food I’m preparing to put in my body?

      • presto 2.0 says:

        this coming from a nicca that smokes a pack of C.I’s a day…a quarter of garbage…and drinks a fifth of Segrams Gin…lol

        “Wheres @President and that “FOH” when you need him?…”…lmao!

        Bp

  5. BrownSugar says:

    My mother is 71 and she eats popcorn everyday. Not a d@mn thing is wrong w/ her. But if it was, I’m gonna get in contact w/ this lawyer and the judge to hear my case.

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