Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog

Working to Achieve Justice Against the Tobacco Industry

Working to Achieve Justice Against the Tobacco Industry

Lieff Cabraser attorney Kenneth S. Byrd of our Nashville office was recently profiled by writer Steve Cavendish in a lengthy article published in the Nashville Scene. Cavendish wrote:

“For almost three years, [Kenny Byrd] has been hip-deep in cigarette litigation. He’s representing a seriously ill plaintiff who measures time by each labored breath, and he’s facing adversaries with virtually unlimited resources and every incentive in the world to stall. He’s gotten this far, 700 miles from home in a Florida federal courtroom, on his skill cutting through the rhetoric of corporate obfuscation.”

“They have killed grandmothers and grandfathers,” Byrd told the jurors. “They have killed aunts and uncles, mommies and daddies, they have killed sisters and brothers.”

Lieff Cabraser represents Florida smokers and the families of loved ones who died or suffered serious illness due to smoking in litigation against the tobacco companies for their 50-year conspiracy to conceal the hazards of smoking and the addictive nature of cigarettes.

Evidence introduced by Lieff Cabraser attorneys at the trials show that 90 percent of daily cigarette smokers start smoking as teenagers, and that the tobacco industry targeted youth for this reason. For decades, the tobacco industry widely marketed smoking cigarettes, using celebrities, famous athletes, and advertising on television shows popular with children and teenagers.

In several trials, juries have returned multi-million dollar verdicts. The largest verdict returned in a federal Florida smokers trial to date was $41.1 million last October for a Lieff Cabraser client against Philip Morris USA Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

More recently, Lieff Cabraser attorney Sarah London served as lead trial counsel for a Florida widow, in which the jury returned a $6 million verdict against R.J. Reynolds.

Please visit the Florida Tobacco case website for further information on this litigation.