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A Colorado man was awarded $7.2 million in damages on Wednesday when a federal court determined he developed “popcorn lung” from inhaling the smell of artificial butter on popcorn, Reuters reported.The court sided with Wayne Watson in ruling that both the popcorn manufacturer and supermarket chain failed to properly warn customers that the butter flavoring, diacetyl, was dangerous.
“Popcorn lung,” a chronic condition, mostly develops in workers who inhale diacetyl at flavoring plants. Its symptoms are similar to those of bronchitis or asthma, according to CBS News.
Watson ate two bags of popcorn a day for 10 years. He was diagnosed with the disease at the National Jewish Medical and Research centre in 2007, according to CBS.
Jurors found that manufacturer Glister-Mary Lee Corp was liable for 80 per cent of damages, and King Soopers supermarket and its parent company, Kroger Co., for 20 per cent, according to Reuters.
A spokeswoman for King Soopers and its parent company told Reuters they plan to appeal the decision.
Watson had settled a previous claim against FONA International Inc., a flavour developer, according to the Associated Press.
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