It’s Alimentary, My Dear Watson

Mr. Watson, who claimed to have consumed thousands of bags of popcorn with diacetyl, sued for bronciolitis obliterans allegedly caused by the diacetyl.

Actually, with the help of frequent testifier David Egilman, Wayne Watson claimed his lung injury was inhalational.

The trial judges in Watson denied essentially the same challenges that were sustained in Newkirk v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., 727 F. Supp. 2d 1006 (E.D.Wash. 2010), aff’d, 438 Fed.Appx. 607 (9th Cir. 2011).

Yesterday, the jury returned a verdict for compensatory damages of $1.2 million, and punitive damages of $6 million, against the defendants, some of which had settled before trial.

For a predictably misleading, mainstream media account that fails to mention the interesting Daubert exclusions and defense verdicts in this litigation, see  Colorado man Wayne Watson wins $7 million in “popcorn lung” lawsuit; and ‘Popcorn Lung’ Lawsuit Nets $7.2M Award (Sept. 20, 2012).

The supermarket defendant at trial should certainly appeal.  It remains to be seen who gets the last pop in this case.

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