In what could prove to be a multi-million dollar lawsuit, a Colorado man is suing a Denver supermarket chain because he claims he developed a chronic lung condition called 'popcorn lung' from inhaling a dangerous chemical that is contained in their microwave popcorn.
Wayne Watson claims King Soopers supermarket should have made it clear on their packaging that the butter flavouring of their popcorn contains the compound diacetyl, which in large quantities can be hazardous to a person's health.
The trial, which began on September 4th heard that Watson's three-a-day pack habit of microwaveable popcorn led to his current condition which he says stops him from walking short distances and has affected the quality of his life.
'Who would ever reasonbly 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 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 butter flavouring in the microwave popcorn contains chemicals that vaporise when heated, and that inhaling this vcauses 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.
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