Eight years after they won a $20 million “popcorn lung” lawsuit against the makers of a toxic butter flavoring used in microwave snacks, a Missouri couple has filed for bankruptcy and is being forced to sell their $3.9 million home in order to satisfy creditors.
According to the Joplin Globe, Eric and Cassandra Peoples of Carthage filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last month in U.S. District Court in Springfield. Among the claims against the couple, who have two children, is a bill for $107,147 that the builder of their palatial home on 10.5 acres says is still owed to him.
The couple’s financial problems represent a sharp turnaround since 2004, when Eric Peoples won a verdict against International Flavors and Fragrances Inc. and its subsidiary Bush Boake Allen Inc., which made the artificial butter flavoring used at the popcorn plant in Jasper where he worked. A jury awarded him $18 million and his wife $2 million.
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