A Federal Court jury awarded $7.2 million dollars to Wayne Watson, as damages for lung disease developed as a result of a chemical used in microwave popcorn. The condition known as "popcorn lung", is an irreversible obstructive lung disease that makes air flow in and out of the lungs difficult.
Watson claimed that he developed the disease after long term exposure to the the smell of the chemical butter flavoring diacetyl. Before contracting the disease, Watson consumed an average of two bags of microwave popcorn per day over a period of ten years. Watson sued the popcorn manufacturer and the supermarket chain, claiming negligence in failing to warn of the known danger from diacetyl. Dr. Cecile Rose, former consultant to the flavorings industry and experienced with workers who contracted the same disease after exposure to diacetyl, was plaintiff's main witness in establishing causal relationship.
Defendants maintained, notwithstanding that this is the latest in a long line of similar cases over the past 15 years, that Watson's health problems were from his years of using dangerous chemicals as a carpet cleaner. The jury held the manufacturer 80% liable and the supermarket chain 20% liable. Defendants plan to appeal the decision.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.