Skip to comments.Popcorn lung couple who won $20m in lawsuit forced to sell $3.9m house
Posted on 10/16/2012 8:35:14 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
A Missouri couple has filed for bankruptcy just eight years after winning a $20 million lawsuit against the makers of a butter popcorn flavoring that gave one of them lung disease.
Eric Peoples of Carthage and his wife, Cassandra, sued International Flavors and Fragrances Inc. and Bush Boake Allen Inc. in 2004 after Mr Peoples developed bronchiolitis obliterans while working at a popcorn plant in Jasper.
But just eight years later, the two are being forced to sell the home they built for $3.9 million to pay off creditors, after their financial situation went spectacularly downhill.
According to the Joplin Globe, the Peoples listed the current value of their residence and 10.5 acres of land at just $700,000 and personal property assets of nearly $33,000.
But their liabilities are listed at more than $611,000, including a $482,876 mortgage with U.S. Bank. The couple's case against the butter flavouring companies was the first of several brought by workers and their spouses.
The suit claimed Mr Peoples, who has two children with his wife, developed the lung disease after being exposed to diacetyl, a chemical present in the flavouring to give a buttery taste and aroma.
Researchers have found that, when heated, the chemical produces a toxic, potentially lethal gas, and can leave those exposed with a shortness of breath, a dry cough and wheezing.
At the trial, doctors testified that Eric Peoples would eventually need a double-lung transplant.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Karma is a bee-otch.
This parallels the oft-told stories about lottery winners who manage to squander their fortune in a surprisingly short time.
Sounds a lot like a liberal congress.
More proof ObamaCare will help the poor...... (Nancy Pelosi)
You still have to work and invest. They just think they will not spend it all. In a few years, it is gone.
After being awarded 20 million—even with the disease—you’d think they’d have enough to live the rest of their days comfortably, and then some. Apparently not.
I’ve been to Carthage. I dont know how you find a $3.9 million house anwhere in that vicinity.
I have little sympathy for people who receive great sums and squander it.
The family could have lived comfortably and given funds to their kids for a head start in their future, if they had used the brains God gave them.
They wouldn’t have had to invest it, if they kept their lifestyle relatively middle class.
You can live well on $100,000 per year. That would include a yearly trip out of the country somewhere.
My mother always said, if you spread the money out equally to everyone, the rich would still end up with the money later.
Well, the lawyers got 30-40% of it, but the rest was not income.
IT WAS TAX FREE MONEY!
This type of suit falls in the same range as the Pigford Farmer’s IMHO! Total Bravo Sierra, but lawyers love ‘em!
While I am sympathetic to the women's health issues, that does not excuse her and her husband from being totally irresponsible with the money they received from this settlement. How do you go through so much money in such a short period of time? Did they really need a 4 million dollar house? In too many instances, people who win large sums of money from the lottery, or in this case, a lawsuit, think it represents an unlimited supply of money and go on outlandish spending sprees, only to find themselves filing for bankruptcy.
Let me guess:
$20 mill settlement designed to take care of them for life and compensate their pain and suffering.
Lawyer who argued they needed every dime then took 40%.
With $12 million left, they could have invested it a super conservative vehicle and gotten a 3% return of $360,000 a year. Probably 300-400% of their previous income.
BUT, they thought it was a lottery windfall (which it really was) and they went large, buying a home worth 30% of their winnings, er I mean award.
People who come by a large pot of money rarely understand that it isn’t all the money in the world. I’m guessing that their lawyer still has his house.
Easy come, easy go.
They didn’t find it.
“the home they built for $3.9 million “
You could give everybody equally the same of everything and, unless you make it impossible for people to gain, you’d still eventually end up with inequalities.
$360,000 is probably more like 600% of their collective previous income. Most manufacturing jobs only pay about $18 an hour, at best.
I know, that if I was blessed with a large income like this that it doesn’t mean I get to go all out. At best, it’s a step up, by one step. A slightly better house and a Lexus, instead of a Ford.
It does not mean I get my own butler and cup washer.
And then there's the truly good folks who show up now and than ...
In 2010, Canadian couple Allen and Violet Large won a $11.2 million Lotto prize. Violet Large was enduring treatments for cancer, and the couple decided to give away most of their fortune to family, friends, hospitals, churches, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and even their local fire department. Their logic was pretty simple: "What you never had, you never miss," Violet said. They truly prove that the real prize of life has nothing to do with money. "That money that we won was nothing," Allen said. "We have each other."
If you look at the pictures in the article it is obvious....she ate the money.
Just ask the Peoples family. They can give experienced advice on how to build one and furnish it.