Wayne Watson (pictured above, imitating a bag of popcorn) was awarded $7 million today in a lawsuit he filed after being diagnosed with "microwave popcorn lung," which is a real thing. Watson was diagnosed with the respiratory disease in 2007, after eating two bags of artificially flavored popcorn a day for years.
"It's kind of a weird story isn't it? A guy gets sick by breathing in the toxic fumes of dicetyl that is on butter-flavored microwave popcorn in the sanctity of his own kitchen," said Watson.
Yep, that is weird. Apparently, the disease is caused by inhaling the popcorn's vapor, specifically the chemical dicetyl, which has been linked to lung problems in workers in popcorn plants and, as a result, is no longer added to artificial butter. Watson and his lawyers say there should have been a warning on the bags. Lawyers for supermarket chain Kroger, one of the defendents in the suit, disagree, saying they "might have well have warned that there are aliens popping out of the bags because there's just as much support for that."
Glister-May Lee, another defendant in the suit and the actual manufacturer of the toxic popcorn released this statement:
"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."
Go ahead and trust a company with "Gilster" in its name if you want, but just don't forget the true tragedy here: Watson's lack of popcorn since his diagnosis.
"I haven't eaten a bag of popcorn since 2007. I hardly eat popcorn any more. Occasionally we'll pop some on the stove the old fashioned way," said Watson.
What good is $7 million if you can't enjoy a bag of popcorn twice a day every day?
[Image via AP]