'Popcorn Lung' Couple Blow Millions - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Popcorn Lung' Couple Blow Millions

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YAHOO.COM - Eric and Cassandra Peoples won a $20 million judgment. Now, they're broke.

The Joplin, Mo., couple made national headlines when, in 2004, a jury awarded Eric $18 million and Cassandra $2 million, for what were determined at the time to be heath injuries that Eric suffered from workplace exposure to the chemical diacetyl, an ingredient used to give popcorn its buttery flavor and aroma.

In the years since Peoples filed his suit, other workers elsewhere around the U.S. have sued for the same injury and won.

As reported by ABC News, Dutch researchers were first to establish a relationship between the chemical and a condition known as "popcorn lung," which first came to light among U.S. popcorn workers in 2001 at a plant making microwaveable popcorn.

According to U.S. researcher David Michaels, a former assistant secretary of energy, heated diacetyl produces a gas not only toxic but potentially lethal. "It just devastates their lungs," he told ABC News. Manufacturers have paid out in excess of $100 million in damages to workers suffering popcorn lung. click here to read more

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