June 20, 2013 – Lung cancer attorneys from the nationally renowned personal injury law firm of Levy Konigsberg LLP win a post-trial motion in a historic wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a lung cancer victim against a tobacco giant.
Lung cancer attorneys from the nationally renowned personal injury law firm of Levy Konigsberg LLP win a post-trial motion in a historic wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a lung cancer victim against a tobacco giant.
WHITE PLAINS, New York, June 20, 2013 – Judge Seibel, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, upheld the jury verdict against a tobacco company, in favor of the family of William Champagne Jr., a life-long smoker who died of lung cancer, and granted the plaintiff a new trial on certain elements of damages. Lung cancer attorneys from Levy Konigsberg LLP (“LK”), primarily known for their nationally-acclaimed work in asbestos litigation, represent Mr. Champagne’s family in their wrongful death lawsuit* against Brown & Williamson, the successor by merger to American Tobacco Company, the maker of Lucky Strike cigarettes.
Mr. Champagne began smoking Lucky Strike cigarettes in the early 1960s when he was about 12 years old and quickly became addicted. He struggled to quit smoking for the next 40 years until he finally quit in 2003, with the aid of a hypnotist and nicotine replacement patches. Shortly after he quit smoking, Mr. Champagne began experiencing the symptoms that ultimately led to his cancer diagnosis. After suffering with lung cancer for approximately 9 months, Mr. Champagne died from lung cancer on June 25, 2004.
In 2005, lung cancer attorneys from LK filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Brown & Williamson and another tobacco company on behalf of William Champagne Jr.’s wife Eileen Clinton and their two children Jen and Billy Champagne, who were young adults when their father passed away. On December 12, 2012, the jury found Brown & Williamson responsible for causing Mr. Champagne’s lung cancer. The jury awarded $1.3 million in economic damages, based on the family’s lost income from the successful trucking businesses Mr. Champagne ran in the Capital Region of New York State prior to his death. The jury also awarded $25,000 for Mr. Champagne’s pain and suffering, $20,000 for Eileen Clinton’s loss of consortium and declined to award any money to Jen and Billy for the loss of their losses as a result of their father’s death.
After the trial, Brown & Williamson moved to overturn the jury’s verdict alleging it was against the weight of the evidence and that the Court made certain errors during the trial. LK lung cancer attorneys, on the Champagne family’s behalf, defended the jury’s liability verdict and asked the Court to grant a new trial on the non-economic damages. On June 20, 2013, the Court denied all of Brown & Williamson’s motions and granted the Champagne family a new trial on the amount of damages for Mr. Champagne’s pain and suffering and for Jen and Billy’s damages for their father’s death, including the loss of his parental care and guidance.
“We are grateful that another jury will be able to assess the substantial pain and suffering damages suffered by Mr. Champagne and the damages suffered by his children, with whom he was very close,” said Jerome H. Block, the partner at LK who represented the Champagne family at trial as lead counsel against Brown & Williamson. Attorney Amber R. Long, also from LK, served as Mr. Block co-counsel at trial and in the post-trial legal proceedings.
LK has decades of experience representing victims of lung cancer. In addition to its work in tobacco cases, the firm has also won significant victories in lung cancer cases caused by asbestos exposure and cases involving people who both smoked and were exposed to asbestos.
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with lung cancer, call the lung cancer attorneys at Levy Konigsberg LLP for a free consultation. The firm can be reached at 1-800-637-6529 or by filling out a short electronic form on this website.
* Eileen A. Clinton, on behalf of herself and as administratrix of the estate of William A. Champagne, Jr., vs. Brown & Williamson Holdings, Inc., as successor by merger to American Tobacco Company, and Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 05 Civ. 9907 (CS) (LMS) (S.D.N.Y).