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Judge Dismisses 'Popcorn Lung' Suit Filed After Statute of Limitations Expired

A U.S. District Court judge has tossed out a lawsuit filed by a Michigan man who allegedly developed a debilitating lung disease after eating microwave popcorn for more than 20 years.

The ruling was issued in a federal court in Iowa on Tuesday, dismissing the lawsuit filed by David and Barbara Stults of Grand Rapids, Michigan, because they brought their claim after the three-year statute of limitations for filing product liability claims had expired.

Stults was diagnosed with brochiolitis obliterans, also referred to as 'popcorn lung' because it is believed to be caused by exposure to the chemical diacetyl, which was used to add a buttery flavor to certain brands of microwave popcorn.

Stults and his wife filed the lawsuit in 2011 naming Bush Boake Allen, Inc. and International Flavors & Fragrances as defendants. The suit was brought in Iowa because that is where the popcorn was manufactured.

Popcorn manufacturers were ordered to cease using diacetyl in 2005.