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A federal judge in Washington state has thrown out a lawsuit filed by a man who claimed that he contracted a severe respiratory illness after eating up to seven bags of microwave popcorn each day for 11 years.

A lawyer for one of the defendants, Chr. Hansen Inc., the U.S. division of Chr. Hansen A/S, said the ruling was the first among a handful of consumer suits that attempt to tie microwave popcorn to a disease called bronchiolitis obliterans, or “popcorn lung,” which causes extreme shortness of breath. Several verdicts have been issued in recent years in similar cases involving workers at factories that make microwave popcorn. Many of those have awarded damages to the plaintiffs, with verdicts as high as $20 million.

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