Lieff Cabraser attorney Kenneth “Kenny” Byrd received the Tennessee Association for Justice 2015 Paladin Award at the TAJ annual conference last week for his successful litigation against cigarette manufacturers R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Philip Morris USA Inc., and Lorillard Tobacco Company in Florida federal courts.
Mr. Byrd represents plaintiffs, most of whom became smokers as teenagers in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s – in an era in which the cigarette industry knowingly marketed to children with the aim to addict young Americans for a lifetime of cigarette use.
“I am honored to be recognized by my colleagues in the TAJ for our firm’s work in the cigarette cases,” said Mr. Byrd. He added, “The hard work of the TAJ and its members day-in and day-out helps keep the courthouse doors open in an environment that includes powerful interests who would slam the door shut. I am proud of the TAJ’s hard work and commitment to civil justice.”
The Paladin is TAJ’s highest honor, given to attorneys who within the past year “have demonstrated superior skills as a trial advocate for their clients, have achieved an outstanding result for a client against great obstacles, have shown inspired devotion to improvement of the civil justice system, or have worked tirelessly to combat the significant threats to the civil justice system,” according to TAJ.
“We are proud of Kenny Byrd as our Paladin award winner for 2015,” said Suzanne Keith, executive director of TAJ. “Kenny and his firm care about their clients and fight for civil justice every single day.”
“Kenny fights for our clients against some of the most powerful corporations in the world,” said Mark Chalos, managing partner of LCHB’s Nashville office. “His dedication to righting wrongs is inspiring. We are proud of his work and accomplishments.”
Lieff Cabraser’s Florida tobacco litigation team includes attorneys, nursing consultants, and legal staff, which has been working since 2011 on behalf of severely injured smokers and families of deceased smokers in trials in Florida federal court against the cigarette industry. The lawsuits allege that the cigarette companies engaged in a 50-year conspiracy of misrepresenting the dangers of smoking cigarettes and engineering the design of cigarettes to make them more addictive and more deadly.
In September of 2014, a Florida jury awarded $26,250,760.14 to Judith Berger in a trial led by Mr. Byrd with co-counsel John Spragens, also from LCHB’s Nashville office. Mrs. Berger began smoking at age 14 in 1958 and now has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). In October of 2014, a Florida jury awarded $41.1 million to Kenneth Kerrivan, a trial also led by Mr. Byrd with co-counsel Sarah London from LCHB’s San Francisco office. Mr. Kerrivan began smoking at age 14 in 1956 and now needs oxygen 24-hours-a-day, despite his numerous attempts to quit smoking over the years.
About Lieff Cabraser Nashville
Lieff Cabraser’s Nashville office was opened in 2001, and handles personal injury, consumer fraud, securities and financial fraud, and False Claims Act cases in Tennessee and nationally. Recent cases being litigated by the firms’ Nashville attorneys include:
- the catastrophic coal ash spill at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston, Tennessee Fossil Plant;
- litigation related to the deadly meningitis outbreak that resulted in 64 deaths and more than 700 serious illnesses nationwide;
- class action litigation against BP, Transocean, Halliburton, and other defendants on behalf of fishermen, property owners, business owners, and wage earners affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blowout and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Learn more about Lieff Cabraser.
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