Wayne Watson is a very rich man – thanks to his daily addiction to popcorn, that is.
Watson has been awarded a whopping $7.2 million after winning a lawsuit over the negative effects of sniffing popcorn. According to the suit, Watson developed respiratory problems in 2007 after inhaling the smell of popcorn twice a day, every day for many years. The suit was filed against Glister-Mary Lee Corp., The Kroger Co. and Dillon Companies.
In the filing, it was noted that Wayne had contracted “popcorn lung.” Popcorn lung is a respiratory disease formally known as bronchiolitis obliterans. The disease is associated with inhaling the chemical diacetyl, found in popcorn flavoring.
The disease isn’t something new (it has been reported by factory workers in the past) but Watson is the first case of a consumer coming forth with the illness.
As noted in the lawsuit, Watson believes that it’s the responsibility of both the manufacturer and the supermarket to warn consumers about the dangers of inhaling the delicious smell of popcorn. Most people are completely unaware of the risks associated with smelling the tasty snack.
Glister-Mary Lee Corp. had the following to say about the favorable verdict Watson received:
“Gilster-Mary Lee Corp. has manufactured and provided safe, quality microwave popcorn to consumers for over two decades. 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. We are currently evaluating our next steps in this matter and will assert all rights available to us under the law.”
In the end, jurors found Gilster-Mary Lee Corp, the Chester, Illinois, private-labeling manufacturer of the popcorn, liable for 80% of the $7,217,961 damages and Kroger Co, liable for 20%.
Do you think Wayne Watson deserved a $7.2 million settlement for developing popcorn lung from sniffing popcorn?