'Popcorn lung' man wins £4.4m for illness caused by flavouring
The convenience food industry is preparing for a flood of compensation claims after a man who fell ill as a result of inhaling fumes from bags of microwave popcorn was awarded $7.2m (£4.4m) in damages.
Wayne Watson convinced a Colorado jury that the product should carry a warning label stating that the artificial butter flavouring used can cause obliterative bronchiolitis, an irreversible illness also known as "popcorn lung".
In 2007, after years of eating the product, he developed the disease, which causes permanent scarring to the lung and makes it difficult to exhale. Research has shown that it can be caused by diacetyl, an ingredient in the butter flavouring.
Mr Watson told the court he ate two or three bags of popcorn a day, almost always smelling before he ate. "You would get that woof! That little woof when you opened it," he said.
Doctors told him that habit was likely to have caused the potentially fatal disease. He later discovered that manufacturers had done "absolutely no testing" to discover if consumers might be at risk.
Life & Style blogs
The high-powered dream team trying to create a stiletto shoe as comfy as a trainer
Apple MacBook review: preposterously thin and extravagantly attractive, this is the best-designed laptop Apple has ever made
How Old Do I Look: Microsoft’s super advanced age-guessing app is terrible at guessing how old celebrities are, too
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
The 12 most sexually satisfied countries in the world revealed
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao live: Mayweather puts on defensive masterclass to win by unanimous decision
- 4 Floyd Mayweather's mouthguard costs $25,000 - enough to fly to Las Vegas and back 18 times
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...