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September 20th, 2012
04:56 PM ET

Court awards $7.2 million for 'popcorn lung'

A federal court has awarded $7.2 million to a Colorado man for damages caused by the chemicals used in artificial butter flavoring of microwave popcorn.

Wayne Watson, 59, was the first consumer diagnosed with the respiratory disease bronchiolitis obliterans, also called "popcorn lung" because it's more commonly diagnosed in workers with long-term exposure to the chemical diacetyl during manufacturing.

"I've lost roughly 50% of my lung capacity," says Watson, who ate microwave popcorn about twice a day for 10 years until his diagnosis. "We won this case because the truth was on our side."

The defendants, popcorn maker Gilster-Mary Lee Corporation, Kroger Co. and Dillon Companies are expected to appeal the decision.

"We are certainly very disappointed by the decision of the jury in this case in light of the very clear evidence which was presented, including the millions of consumers who have safely used and enjoyed microwave popcorn since it was introduced," said a Gilster-Mary Lee Corp. spokesman.

The company says it removed the chemical diacetyl from its microwavable popcorn between 2007 and 2008.

The problem, says Watson's attorney, Ken McClain, is that the public doesn't know what chemicals have now replaced diacetyl, or the effects of diacetyl in other products.

"This is a big experiment run on people," says McClain. "The reality is that nobody knows what's happening with these other products, because nobody is testing them."


soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Orville

    I am sad that I live in the same city as this guy. Seriously? 2 bags a day for 10 years. Its your own damn fault buddy, just as much as if you smoked 2 packs a day. "But I didnt know" Cry me a river. Ever heard of moderation? You're lucky it wasnt big macs or twinkies because you would be about 400 lbs. Would that be the fault of Hostess or McDonalds? FYI, you eat popcorn, you dont inhale it.

    September 20, 2012 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wow!

      I totally agree with you. Where is his personal responsibility? I cannot believe he won this...this will undoubtedly be overturned or reduced upon appeal, right? One can only hope.

      September 20, 2012 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      I think 2 bags of ANYTHING a day for 10 years will make you sick.

      September 20, 2012 at 17:50 | Report abuse |
    • Ninja

      .... Actually he inhaled the flavor of the butter in the popcorns that caused his lung cancer... But whatever he ate or inhale the 2 popcorns bags/day for the last 10 years, it was the issue. Our human body parts can only sustain a relative amount of chemicals and if it has too much or too little of a chemical, that body part will be affected.....

      September 20, 2012 at 17:55 | Report abuse |
    • TheTraveler

      "I've lost roughly 50% of my lung capacity," says Watson, who ate microwave popcorn about twice a day for 10 years until his diagnosis. "We won this case because the truth was on our side."

      And about 90% of your brain capacity... You won this case because courts love to see consumers win. Like the guy who cut his fingers off using his Toro lawnmower for a hedge trimmer back in 1990. There was nothing on the mower that said NOT to use it that way. Good grief.

      As Arthur C . Clarke put it, "It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value."
      .

      September 20, 2012 at 17:58 | Report abuse |
    • lk

      I agree. I wish I could punch this guy in the crotch for his idiocy. He got what he deserved and sadly made money off of it. It would amuse me if he couldn't breathe at all. 50% lung capacity is too good for him.

      September 20, 2012 at 18:06 | Report abuse |
    • JD

      Agreed. This is a prime example of a faulty judicial system. On a sidenote, I ate two bags of Doritos a day for 10 years and now I've been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes among other issues. I'm suing Doritos.

      September 20, 2012 at 18:07 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Yea, can we say Moderation? We are such an ignorant country sometimes. This has to be over-turned just on the argument he could not have possiby cared about his health with eating 2 bags a day for 10 years, so why should that company have to be so concerned with his health?

      September 20, 2012 at 18:14 | Report abuse |
    • DNA

      The difference is if you eat popcorn twice a day that doesn't have the artificial chemical DIACETYL you will be fine. Wow, it's like you don't know how to read.
      Maybe the next time a corporation decides to coat food with an untested chemical, they will think twice.

      September 20, 2012 at 18:23 | Report abuse |
    • NODAT1

      I would agree with you if he was suing because he was overweight. But you do understand he suing because of a harmful chemical that should not have used in the popcorn????????

      September 20, 2012 at 18:38 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Plain popcorn is low in calories and high in fiber, it is good for you!
      Each bag of regular sized microwave popcorn has 9 tbs(US) of kernels = to 0.562500 cups(US) Each bag makes 12 cups popped. (Source = http://www.chacha.com/question/how-many-cups-of-kernels-does-a-bag-of-microwave-popcorn-have)
      Average number of corn kernels on an ear of corn is 700. (Source = http://www.quora.com/How-many-kernels-do-ears-of-corn-have-on-average)
      So this guy ate less than an ear of corn per day. That is not overeating.
      He gets a rare disease associated only with diacetyl, which was added to the popcorn, and you blame him?
      You are an idiot.

      September 20, 2012 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
    • Skeptimist

      You established the crux of the matter when you wrote, "FYI, you eat popcorn, you dont inhale it." There's nothing in the article that suggests he inhaled it. Unless the package carried a warning that eating more than a certain amount could cause lung problems, the victim did nothing irresponsible and the jury got right.

      September 20, 2012 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
    • deathwombat

      The obvious difference being that cigarettes are packaged with warnings about their negative health effects. Have you ever seen a warning on a bag of popcorn? Why shouldn't he eat two bags of popcorn a day? Popcorn is (supposed to be) a lot healthier than most other forms of junk food. Most of us have a snack that we like to eat every day, and his preferred snack happened to be popcorn.

      September 20, 2012 at 19:28 | Report abuse |
    • Tamars

      really? the company uses chemicals instead of butter and you blame the person? really? the company knew – just as ciagerette makers knew about cancer dangers – waaaay before this suit. i'm not willing to excuse unethical company practices as easily as you.

      September 20, 2012 at 19:43 | Report abuse |
    • Popped Off

      I bet he didn't eat that much popcorn at all... he was simply trying to win a lawsuit and get money. If he said he ate more, it made the popcorn sound more culpable. The loser should have eaten good food. If you can afford all that popcorn, you can afford a carrot, a beet, and a chicken breast.

      September 20, 2012 at 19:48 | Report abuse |
    • ass9

      Maybe he was eating popcorn like millions of others trying to lose weight know it all.

      September 20, 2012 at 20:14 | Report abuse |
    • cali

      i dnt get orville how is it the guys fault if it contained the chemical diacetyl

      September 20, 2012 at 20:34 | Report abuse |
    • Sadie

      Why doesn't this article even mention that, for years Wayne was a carpet cleaner!

      Defense attorneys argued that Watson’s health problems stemmed from working with carpet-cleaning chemicals for years, according to KCNC-TV in Denver.

      Come on, carpet cleaning chemicals surely would impact your lungs................................

      September 20, 2012 at 20:44 | Report abuse |
    • Not a Scholar

      @Skeptimist I read the part about eating popcorn and not inhaling it and I laughed at the ignorance. Actually, your tongue is very picky about what it tastes. Sweet, bitter, sour, salty, and umami are all the tongue tastes. All other flavors you perceive are through the sense of SMELL. So in essence you do inhale a certain percentage of what you are eating as it goes through the nose. Therefore, the chemicals in popcorn that give it a perceived taste in fact would enter the nose and into the lungs. There is an undisclosed risk in eating products that use artificial and natural chemicals to give you a taste perception.

      September 20, 2012 at 20:53 | Report abuse |
    • Limone

      This case was written up in the medical literature. He didn't just eat 2 bags/day x 10 years, he deeply inhaled the scent, shoving his face into the bag. That is a big difference from normal eating behavior, even without counting the excessive bags over a 10 year period.
      So, for him to win this case is disappointing because the chemical would be very unlikely to cause any adverse effects with normal consumption. And no, I am not working for either company, nor am I a lawyer (doctor, yes).
      FYI: it isn't lung cancer, it is bronchiolitis obliterans as the article states.

      September 20, 2012 at 21:10 | Report abuse |
    • FACTS PLEASE!!!!!

      He was diagnosed with an extremely rare, fixed obstructive lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterates. There is no cure. The disease is not caused by eating popcorn, it is caused by breathing the vapors of chemicals (specifically diacetyl) that were contained in artificial butter flavoring. The fact that microwave popcorn contained a chemical that could cause such a disease, without warning consumers, makes it an unreasonably dangerous product. This is the same rare disease that workers who worked with and around artificial butter flavoring at the Jasper popcorn plant were diagnosed with. The person who made this diagnosis, Dr. Cecile Rose is a well-respected doctor with the National Jewish Medical Center. Dr. Rose was also a consultant to the the Flavor and Extract Manufacturer's Association, a trade organization that represents flavor manufacturers.

      September 20, 2012 at 23:30 | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Excellent post, Orville. You are clearly not a Redenbacher.

      September 20, 2012 at 23:49 | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      While they don't explain it well in the article, the issue here is not that he ate the popcorn, but rather that he was exposed to the fumes from the bag, which is how the chemical got into his lungs. I can't say that eating 7000 bags of popcorn in a row is a good idea, but I can imagine how someone, say a childcare worker, might open two bags of popcorn a day for an extended amount of time. There shouldn't be unknown poison's in Kroger's food products plan and simple.

      September 22, 2012 at 09:15 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      You do realize that popcorn is actually supposed to be good for you!

      September 25, 2012 at 13:37 | Report abuse |
    • M

      I agree. How can a person not know that microwave popcorn is bad for you? Never mind the chemicals that preserve it, lets just look at the salt and fat content. That's like saying I didn't know poking myself in the eye everyday would be bad for my vision. Lawsuits should have to pass some kind of stupid test. If four out of five people look at a case and say "That's stupid." it gets thrown out before it even gets to court.

      September 25, 2012 at 14:12 | Report abuse |
  2. Pan3

    The problem is eating 2 bags a day! Is someone going to sue McDonlads for making them fat because they eat there everyday?

    September 20, 2012 at 17:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike L.

      They already have.

      September 20, 2012 at 17:44 | Report abuse |
    • NODAT1

      You do understand that he suing because of the harmful chemicals and not because of a weight problem I guess it would be ok for food manufactures to add lead and asbestos and it would still be the consumers fault

      September 20, 2012 at 18:45 | Report abuse |
    • Aletheya

      No, the problem is they used a toxic chemical in their "artificial butter" flavoring. There is nothing wrong with popcorn by itself. You should be angry at the company for using chemicals in its popcorn, but instead you blame the victim. There's a word for that, it's called being a "tool". Here's a thought – if you want your popcorn to taste like butter, use *real butter*.

      September 20, 2012 at 19:00 | Report abuse |
    • deathwombat

      I've never heard of anyone getting bronchiolitis obliterans from eating at McDonald's every day, so apparently that's what he should have been doing.

      September 20, 2012 at 19:31 | Report abuse |
    • The truth

      So for those who are saying he got sick because of the chemical, well, tat's all well and good, but you forget one thing – its still about moderation. Rice has arsnic in it – if you're asian – no problem – rice here has low content levels – in the US, maybe a bigger problem – if you eat rice every day for 10 years consuming rice grwn in the southern united states you might die of arsnic poisoning. Diet Coke – don't think the artificial sweetener is good for you – but one can aday might be fine, but I worry about those who down a 6 pack daily.

      At the end of the day, the guy was both a creature of habit and a glutton – and to get $7 milllion because he wouldn't mix up his diet tells me he deserves what he gets.

      September 20, 2012 at 20:27 | Report abuse |
    • weak_sauce

      "At the end of the day, the guy was both a creature of habit and a glutton – and to get $7 milllion because he wouldn't mix up his diet tells me he deserves what he gets."

      He deserved 7 million dollars?🙂

      September 20, 2012 at 20:34 | Report abuse |
    • Joshua the Agnostic

      2 bags a day is less than one ear of corn a day. It's not french fries people.

      September 26, 2012 at 12:48 | Report abuse |
  3. Ninja

    Nobody put a gun on your head to force you to eat 2 popcorn bags a day. It was your choice and when you made your choice you can't blame someone else... Samething, if you smoke too much and then you got lung cancer, you blame Tobacco companies for that.... Or you eat too much McDonald and you got fat and you blame them??? Come on... grown up!

    September 20, 2012 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      Plain popcorn is low in calories and high in fiber, it is good for you!
      Each bag of regular sized microwave popcorn has 9 tbs(US) of kernels = to 0.562500 cups(US) Each bag makes 12 cups popped. (Source = http://www.chacha.com/question/how-many-cups-of-kernels-does-a-bag-of-microwave-popcorn-have)
      Average number of corn kernels on an ear of corn is 700. (Source = http://www.quora.com/How-many-kernels-do-ears-of-corn-have-on-average)
      So this guy ate less than an ear of corn per day. That is not overeating.
      He gets a rare disease associated only with diacetyl, which was added to the popcorn, and you blame him?
      You are also an idiot.

      September 20, 2012 at 18:44 | Report abuse |
    • Aletheya

      Can you actually read? If so, then *read* the article. His problem had nothing to do with eating 2 bags a day. His lungs were damaged by inhaling the vapors from the popcorn, which contained a toxic chemical in the "artificial butter flavoring". Do you want your kids exposed to toxic chemicals in their food? Is it ok in your mind to expose them to lung-destroying chemicals if they only eat 1 bag a day? Think, please.

      September 20, 2012 at 19:03 | Report abuse |
    • deathwombat

      I'm sure that there's something that you eat every day, and I assume that you would be upset if it turned out to have harmful chemicals in it that were not mentioned on the package. Popcorn is relatively healthy, so if something like popcorn could be bad for you, so could carrots or broccoli. Are you going to blame the victim if someone gets a disease from eating their veggies every day?

      September 20, 2012 at 19:34 | Report abuse |
  4. Mike L.

    To the posters above, eating two bags a day had nothing to do with it. If the company knew it was a hazard and sold it anyway, then they should not be suprised they lost.

    September 20, 2012 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • anon

      I agree, but thats a big IF

      September 20, 2012 at 17:51 | Report abuse |
    • Brett

      A company does not know something is a hazard to be liable. Under principles of strict liability, a company is liable for anything that may go wrong with a product, absent some negligence on the part of the consumer.

      Eating two bags of popcorn a day is not negligent behavior, whatever the yahoos on this website say.

      September 20, 2012 at 18:13 | Report abuse |
    • Will

      They didn't... Didn't you read the part where they discontinued the use of the chemical between 4 and 5 years ago which was 1-2 years before the government said the chemical was dangerous? This guy has been living with 50% decreased lung function for 4-5 years. If you are going to putting something in your body two times a day for a decade it should be your responsibility to at least read the label and research something. While popcorn is healthy, the second you put butter on it, it isn't healthy any more. That argument is moot. I'm tired of consumers claiming manufacturers are to blame when they exhibit zero consumer responsibility. If you can't understand the ingredients you eat at your own risk. The manufacturers were well ahead of the the curve in this case.

      September 20, 2012 at 20:23 | Report abuse |
    • FACTS PLEASE!!!!!

      @anon, it is not a big IF. The companies knew it. Start by reading "Popcorn-worker lung caused by corporate and regulatory negligence: an avoidable tragedy."

      September 20, 2012 at 23:40 | Report abuse |
  5. Some random person that heard about this and is commenting

    I heard about this on the news. WHY YOU EAT SO MUCH POPCORN?!?!?!?!?!?! This just proves that some people in the world will do anything for money. This is just crazy though. Why in the world would you eat so much popcorn? Don't you know that it's unhealthy for you? Stupid idiot.

    September 20, 2012 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      Plain popcorn is low in calories and high in fiber, it is good for you!
      Each bag of regular sized microwave popcorn has 9 tbs(US) of kernels = to 0.562500 cups(US) Each bag makes 12 cups popped. (Source = http://www.chacha.com/question/how-many-cups-of-kernels-does-a-bag-of-microwave-popcorn-have)
      Average number of corn kernels on an ear of corn is 700. (Source = http://www.quora.com/How-many-kernels-do-ears-of-corn-have-on-average)
      So this guy ate less than an ear of corn per day. That is not overeating.
      He gets a rare disease associated only with diacetyl, which was added to the popcorn, and you blame him?
      You are the idiot.

      September 20, 2012 at 18:45 | Report abuse |
  6. Vanesa

    I hope they win their appeal. They aren't going to spend money to just find out if you get sick from eating too much of something over a period of long time. Actually they don't have to. They expect people to have some common sense which clearly this man obviously is lacking.

    September 20, 2012 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fighting ignorance one post at a time

      pot, meet kettle

      September 21, 2012 at 00:09 | Report abuse |
  7. Ninja

    Just wondered how come he could prove that he ate 2 popcorn bags/day? Did he keep the receipts for the last 10 years?... Remember, there is a guy who ate McDonald for the past 40 years and he kept the receipts... but he proved that he is still healthy at this time and not obese at all....:-)

    September 20, 2012 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. CharlesKayeMBA

    Hey, why should this guy worry? He's got OBAMACARE NOW!

    Thanks to Obama, he can live forever, or until the death panel pulls the plug on his respirator.

    September 20, 2012 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Neal

      Your post is dumb. Please start eating 2 bags of popcorn daily to save us all from your idiocy.

      September 20, 2012 at 18:20 | Report abuse |
  9. Joe the voice of reason

    The point isn't how much popcorn he ate, the point is that there is something in the popcorn that caused his lungs to shut down, and he was never made aware that this was a risk. He isn't suing them because the kernals damaged is teeth, or because he put on a bunch of weight, both things any reasonable person would deduce could happen, he sued them because they poisoned him.

    September 20, 2012 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lk

      Just seems like common sense that if you eat too much if ANYTHING it could have bad effects. I don't pity him. If I were on that jury I'd have voted against him. He doesn't deserve anything. He's a moron.

      September 20, 2012 at 18:13 | Report abuse |
    • whiskey1bravo

      I would have to lean on the side that say's he poisoned himself by eating 2 bags a day for 10 years.. Sorry Joe

      September 20, 2012 at 18:13 | Report abuse |
  10. Tony

    Good the the feds and the FDA are ... oh wait.

    September 20, 2012 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. SG

    I agree with Tony. They put the chemicals in, they are libel. If there was a warning, there would not have been a case.

    September 20, 2012 at 18:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. uh yea

    I blame this dope, everyone knows that eating popcorn will inevitably decrease lung capacity by 50%. He knew the risks and decided to eat it anyway. I will continue to believe this idiot deserves nothing. This is of course despite the fact that these flavorings contain diacetyl which is hazardous and are found within these products without warning labels.

    Clearly this is common knowledge and I dare say personal responsibility for all.

    September 20, 2012 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      Is that tongue in your cheek searching for popcorn?

      September 20, 2012 at 18:48 | Report abuse |
    • Topper

      I laughed so hard. U are both a scholar and a comedian, good sir.

      September 20, 2012 at 21:23 | Report abuse |
  13. rain in alaska

    Popcorn is freaking gross, I don't know how anyone can eat that nasty azz stuff.

    September 20, 2012 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Loogin

    God bless America.

    As if the silly old twit who sued McDonalds and won for spilling the hot coffee she ordered on herself wasn't bad enough...

    An even bigger twit shoving his nose into a bag of chemical covered popcorn and sucking in a lungs worth before choking it down his gullet.

    Twice a day for 10 years? Seriously??

    And its someone ELSES fault for not putting a warning on the bag, or on the shelf? Wow. Exactly what type of warning does he expect? ATTENTION: If you're an idiot, please fight the urge to inhale contents 7300 times as, with many things, inhaling it can be F*&^*#G BAD FOR YOU!

    I hope from here on out every time this tool gags down a bag he gets a piece of the shell, skin, stuff...stuck in his throat.

    September 20, 2012 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sadie

      It's the fault of the greedy people who were selected for the jury.
      The jurors give large awards since an insurance co will pay and, maybe one day they will have something to sue about and that jury will return the favor and award in their favor.

      September 20, 2012 at 20:47 | Report abuse |
    • fighting ignorance one post at a time

      Both of you need to watch "Hot Coffee"

      September 20, 2012 at 23:44 | Report abuse |
  15. seacat

    You have got to be kidding! Yes, our judicial system is a freaking joke.

    September 20, 2012 at 18:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Kingofthenet

    Hey, I got a CRAZY idea, how about using REAL food products like Butter rather than chemicals?

    September 20, 2012 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • outawork

      butter = $

      September 20, 2012 at 18:51 | Report abuse |
  17. randy

    Blame the victim much? What's wrong with eating popcorn? Popcorn is a healthy food when not covered in butter and such. It's reasonable to expect a snack food to give diabetes or something if eaten too much, not respiratory illness.

    September 20, 2012 at 18:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • outawork

      If it's not covered with butter and such it's like eating drywall.

      September 20, 2012 at 18:50 | Report abuse |
  18. gmenfan54

    Where's my popcorn?

    September 20, 2012 at 18:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RuntheTable

    There is far to much focus on the fact this man ate 2 bags of popcorn a day; that is not the issue here. Do none of you eat or drink the same things on a daily basis? Coffee, cereal, frozen dinners or vegetables? What about those that smoke or drink alcohol? Consumers should be able to eat the food put on grocery store shelves without fear of developing a disease from the additives used to produce them. Be it popcorn or anything else. And yes, we all must take responsibility for what we put in our bodies. If you eat a lot of junk or processed foods; if you smoke or drink, then you can expect obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. I assure you, when I am considering eating or drinking something "bad" my thoughts go to things like; too much sodium, too much sugar, made with hydrogenated oils, not wether I will develop bronchiolitis obliterans. If any of these companies knew this chemical could cause this ailment, and they continued to use it; then they absolutely should be responsible. It should have been clearly stated on the package; just as it is on cigarettes, allowing the consumer to make an informed choice.

    September 20, 2012 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DB

      Need we remind you that DDT was an accepted pesticide for a long time until the affects were finally realized?

      September 20, 2012 at 19:06 | Report abuse |
    • Candy

      Didn't it say somewhere in the article that they took out the chemical back in 2007 or 2008?
      In any event, if the chemical was listed anywhere on the ingredients list, couldn't it then be classified as willful-ignorance? If he wanted to pursue eating popcorn that wasn't filled with all kinds of strange stuff, he could have pursued finding a popcorn he loves without all the chemicals, or why not invest in a popcorn maker and melt his own butter? That would have saved him LOADS of money and it takes the same amount of time to melt butter and pop popcorn if you do it yourself, versus buying the packages from the store.
      I know because we have a popcorn maker and it takes the same 2-3 minutes to pop as the microwave. Also, it takes less than a minute to melt your butter in the microwave while the popcorn pops.😉

      September 20, 2012 at 19:15 | Report abuse |
  20. Nooben

    Why not direct all the hate at this guy's sleezebag liar (I mean lawyer!)

    Without the liar, this case would have been dead in the water long ago!

    September 20, 2012 at 18:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fighting ignorance one post at a time

      "this case would be dead in the water" ....so would the guy. So would dozens of others who unknowingly inhaled diacetyl containing butter flavoring. Yes, the lawyer has made money, but he's also saved a lot of lungs and likely lives doing it...The opposite of how corporate greed makes money.

      September 20, 2012 at 23:48 | Report abuse |
  21. Used to be liberal

    He is one of the 47% that Romney was talking about. He is an example of what is wrong with America today, no personal responsibility

    September 20, 2012 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fighting ignorance one post at a time

      what about corporate responsibility? corporations are people too, my friend! if a corporation hurts someone, they should be held responsible, and you can't put them in jail

      September 20, 2012 at 23:50 | Report abuse |
  22. DB

    Another Darwin Award winner for sure.

    September 20, 2012 at 19:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fighting ignorance one post at a time

      i think i know what DB stands for

      September 20, 2012 at 23:50 | Report abuse |
  23. Dthomas

    This makes me regret all the microwavable popcorn I've eaten.

    September 20, 2012 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Candy

    "The company says it removed the chemical diacetyl from its microwavable popcorn between 2007 and 2008."
    Am I the only one who is reading this part of the article? That means they removed the chemical 4-5 YEARS ago. He says he's been eating the popcorn twice/day for 10 years. If the chemical in the popcorn is to blame, why did it take soooo long to kick-in? I think he's just looking for someone to blame, poor Kroger. I work for a company they own and I hate to think of what it'll do for the people who work for Kroger and shop at Kroger stores if they lose the appeal.

    September 20, 2012 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GeneK

      The chemical that was removed was replaced with another one. That one is also suspected of causing similar effects.

      September 20, 2012 at 19:32 | Report abuse |
    • fighting ignorance one post at a time

      how much money did kroger make selling an unreasonably dangerous product? There was an article in the USA Today June 19, 2002 about butter flavoring ruining people's lungs. poor kroger?

      September 20, 2012 at 23:54 | Report abuse |
  25. GeneK

    Compared to the junk food a lot of Americans eat, popcorn is a reasonably good alternative. Two bags is about 600 calories, less if you use the low fat varieties, and if not for the chemical additives you could inhale what rises off the popcorn without any ill effects. The doctrine of "reasonable risk" applies. From eating 600 calories of salted, buttered popcorn a day, reasonable risks you ought to be prepared for even if there's no warnings provided would be obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries. Lung disease, no.

    September 20, 2012 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Lorrie

    I guess the word moderation is not in his vocabulary. Also, he could have eaten hot air popcorn instead of the microwave.

    September 20, 2012 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fighting ignorance one post at a time

      he could have, and might have chosen to do so if he knew the butter flavoring in the microwave popcorn he was eating could destroy his lungs.

      September 20, 2012 at 23:55 | Report abuse |
  27. toadfun

    did anyone actually read the article? there are 31 calories in one cup of popcorn that is to be air popped. so the legalese wasn't about diet. it is about about a manufacturer not disclosing the dangerous chemicals they put in their product.

    for all of you dissing the guy for his diet plan - plain popcorn is a decent snack. why don't all you whiners go have a back of wild almonds as a snack, k? (that should keep you off line for some time).

    September 20, 2012 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GeneK

      35-40% of all almonds tested as recently as 2008 by the USDA were found to contain residues of piperonyl butoxide, a known reproductive disruptor, and chlorpyrifos, a known neurotoxin and hormone disruptor. Enjoy.

      September 20, 2012 at 21:44 | Report abuse |
  28. Vad

    There are three main societal problems presented in the article:

    1. The lack of self control that is practiced, and it is not limited to Wayne Watson

    2. The lack of personal accountability, once again not limited to Wayne Watson

    3. The over litigious society that allows people like Wayne Watson to be awarded for their own poor decisions.

    September 20, 2012 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RonJ

    My initial reaction was also shock that he would eat two bags of popcorn a day and then sue.
    The poin is though that he was poisoned bu something in the popcorn. What if I find that bread that I have been eating 2-4 slices a day had chemicals that poisoned me and was not told or warned by the manufacturers – donti have the right to sue ?

    September 20, 2012 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Jack

    It's going to come out that he knew of the toxic chemicals where in the popcorn. He did it so he could sue for millions and then transfer it to his wife. Why eat two bags of popcorn for two years placing your face over the bag and inhaling all of the toxic fumes? I don't know anyone that would eat two bags a day let alone one.

    September 20, 2012 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fighting ignorance one post at a time

      what came out was that the companies knew or should have known that diacetyl was toxic, that's why they lost

      September 20, 2012 at 23:59 | Report abuse |
  31. alex

    Everyone making a mockery of this guy's condition should have their lung capacity cut to 50%. Let's see you laugh then. Idiots.

    September 20, 2012 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sadie

      Defense attorneys argued that Watson’s health problems stemmed from working with carpet-cleaning chemicals for years, according to KCNC-TV in Denver.

      Why doesn't this article even mention that, for years Wayne was a carpet cleaner!

      September 20, 2012 at 20:45 | Report abuse |
    • fighting ignorance one post at a time

      because carpet cleaning chemicals do not cause bronchiolitis obliterates, exposure to diacetyl does. The article lacks many pertinent facts, b.s. defense counsel arguments are not among them

      September 21, 2012 at 00:06 | Report abuse |
  32. George in Toronto

    I wish I could get popcorn lung.

    September 20, 2012 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fighting ignorance one post at a time

      i wish you could too, but only for a day, then you could repost

      September 21, 2012 at 00:01 | Report abuse |
  33. c s

    The headline is wrong. The court did not award anything; the jury made the award. My guess is that the case will be appealed along with the award. The appeals will go on for years unless the guy is willing to settle for a lot less. So he can accept a lesser amount now or wait until the appeals are ended in 10 or 20 years. What would you do, take some money or wait until all of the appeals are done in 10 or 20 years. If he decides to fight all of the appeals, he will probably die without receiving a cent. That is the way the court system works.

    September 20, 2012 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GeneK

      I wonder if juries are allowed to take that into consideration. I can imagine this one thinking, the company will appeal, the award will be reduced, they'll settle for even less and the lawyers will take 40% of what he does get, he'll be lucky if he gets 10 cents on the dollar. So if it's going to take $700k to make up for 15 years of lost wages and medical bills before he can go on Social Security and Medicare the way he would have if he'd been able to go on working til he was 65, we award him $7M.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:51 | Report abuse |
  34. Jackie Demolin

    In my old age, may I inhale some popcorn fumes to replace the social security I won't get?

    September 20, 2012 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Not a Scholar

    One person in a comment state that we eat popcorn and not inhale it and I laughed at the ignorance. Actually, your tongue is very picky about what it tastes. Sweet, bitter, sour, salty, and umami are all the tongue tastes. All other flavors you perceive are through the sense of SMELL. So in essence you do inhale a certain percentage of what you are eating as it goes through the nose. Therefore, the chemicals in popcorn that give it a perceived taste in fact would enter the nose and into the lungs. There is an undisclosed risk in eating products that use artificial and natural chemicals to give you a taste perception.

    Although I disagree with the payout, I do agree with a penalty. And as the companies stopped using that product that acknowledged there is a danger with it. This should have been settled out of court.

    September 20, 2012 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. NoGr8rH8r

    Dude's eating microwave popcorn twice a day for 10 yrs? Is he a mental case?

    September 20, 2012 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Huh?

    That is 7200 bags of popcorn over 10 years! Shoot, with that much exposure, broccoli is probably a carcinogen! One can assume then that this buffoon ate, drank, and did a whole lot of other things to ridiculous excess as well. Given this pattern of excess, his condition could have been caused by any number of things..

    September 20, 2012 at 22:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • fighting ignorance one post at a time

      bronchiolitis obliterans is a very rare disease, and is a signature disease of exposure to diacetyl, similar to mesothelioma and asbestos

      September 21, 2012 at 00:04 | Report abuse |
  38. RomneySucks

    There should not be any dangerous chemicals in food products period, it is besides the point how may popcorns the person ate since for little kids eating even once or twice a week can be lethal. Where is our Food Admin Agencies.

    September 20, 2012 at 22:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. cWhatsNew

    Seriously? Two bags of popcorn EVERY DAY FOR 10 YEAR? Even If one doesn't get lung cancer, he would have been died of anything, being obese, bored or even choked to death!

    September 20, 2012 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Portland tony

    Actually two bags of popcorn a day is not a bad diet. Low in fat, plenty of carbs......fiber....especially if your doctor has recommended it as a snack BUT sans salt and butter/coconut etc...oil. Then it's not tasty....but?

    September 20, 2012 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Ed Sr of Dallas Tx

    Pass the popcorn....I need the money!

    September 20, 2012 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. PhilG

    I'd totally give up 1 lung for 7 million dollars.

    September 20, 2012 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. aaron

    The guy definitely shouldn't have eaten 2 bags of popcorn a day, that's overkill. However, who would expect to loose a lung from eating popcorn?

    September 20, 2012 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. HonestCrook

    Isn't this the same type of thing that happened to Ebert? Eat a bucket of movie popcorn day-after-day, decade-after-decade, and one day your jaw falls off.

    September 21, 2012 at 00:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. S

    So glad the case was won on this mans behalf – it's not acceptable to used harmful chemicals in foods for human consumption.

    September 21, 2012 at 06:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. David

    As much as I support personal responsibility there should be some consumer protection regarding the chemicals used in food and even cosmetics.

    This is the system as its designed – the food company doesn't have to prove its safe, you have to prove its harmful. These things didn't used to be considered "food" at any other time in history.

    September 21, 2012 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. SB1790

    You know, the guy who made the comment about his Doritos and diabetes sort of makes some sense. Maybe all obese Americans with Type II diabetes should form the worlds largest class action suit against a food manufacturer or restaurant chain.

    September 21, 2012 at 18:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. LD

    No way to prove his bronchiolitis obliterans was caused by this chemical. There are many causes of this poorly understood disease.

    September 22, 2012 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Personal Responsibility is so 1980!

    Apparently, personal responsibility is a thing of the past! This is absolutely absurd. Compared to the other ridiculous things going on in America, I am not surprised. No one forced this idiot to eat over 700 bags of popcorn a year! While I understand the chemical has side effects...so do most of the other processed and chemically enhanced things sold here. Everything in moderation, I do not believe that this case should have gone into the plaintiffs favor.

    September 30, 2012 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. I also have Bronchiolitis Obliterans

    I have been diagnosed with Bronchiolitis, and the cause is undetermined.
    I also ate microwave popcorn for years, and just because we pop a bag does not mean that we eat the whole bag.
    I thought that popcorn was a more nutritious dessert than cake, cookies, or ice cream.
    The attorneys fee will be 45% of the settlement,and that is before the "costs" of researching and bringing the case to trial.
    The plantif will have to pay all costs out of their part of the settlement.
    These attorneys who represented Mr. Watson have done all or us a favor by bringing this issue to our attention, otherwise the general population would not have heard about the dangers of diacetyl.
    Believe me, bronchiolitis is not something anyone would wish for.
    You can't even walk very far without gasping for breath.

    December 25, 2013 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply

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