Two-bags-a-day popcorn eater files lawsuit over flavor chemical

DENVER (AP) -- A suburban Denver man is suing a grocery store chain over a lung illness he says he got from his microwave popcorn habit.

Wayne Watson is believed to be the only consumer to develop "popcorn lung" from regular servings of microwave popcorn. The condition is said to be caused by the artificial butter flavoring chemical that previously sickened only popcorn factory workers.

Watson's attorney, Kenneth McClain, says the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court names The Kroger Company and two of its divisions.

A Kroger spokeswoman says the company does not comment on lawsuits.

Hundreds of workers have said they have severe lung disease or other respiratory illnesses from inhaling the chemical vapors while mixing large vats of flavors.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, states that the companies failed to warn consumers about inhaling the aroma.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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