December 02, 2011 - Boston, MA
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The Massachusetts Superior Court awarded attorneys' fees and costs in the watershed tobacco case Evans v. Lorillard, which rendered a judgment in the amount of $116 million plus 90% interest for the estate of Marie Evans, a woman who died of lung cancer in 2002. In this precedent-setting case, the Honorable Elizabeth M. Fahey, Justice of the Superior Court awarded the plaintiff $2,597,377.67 in attorneys’ fees and costs pursuant to the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act. While the court had never awarded more than $400 per hour for attorneys’ fees, the judge made an exception in this case “given the skill exhibited by the plaintiff’s attorneys – who outmaneuvered Lorillard’s attorneys despite being outnumbered – and the remarkable result they achieved.” Judge Fahey determined that such an award was reasonable as Davis Malm attorney Michael D. Weisman took a risk in taking the case “despite knowing that prior tobacco litigation had been almost completely unsuccessful in garnering actual monetary damages for plaintiffs.” Davis Malm attorneys Thomas Frisardi, Joshua S. Grossman, and Kendra Kinscherf are also counsel to the plaintiff.
Judge Fahey also noted that the primary reason for awarding an unusually high hourly rate was due to the “exemplary skill, advocacy, and work ethic” the Davis Malm trial attorneys “demonstrated in the courtroom and in the pleadings submitted on their client’s behalf.” The total amount of the award includes $2,371,414.69 in attorneys’ fees and $225,962.98 in costs.
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Founded in 1979, Davis Malm is a premier mid-sized, full-service New England firm. The firm provides sophisticated, cost-effective legal representation to local, national, and international public and private businesses, institutions, and individuals in a wide spectrum of industries. The attorneys at the firm practice at the top level of the profession and deliver successful results to clients through direct partner involvement, responsive client service, and practical and creative problem solving.
While the court had never awarded more than $400 per hour for attorneys' fees, the judge made an exception in this case given the skill exhibited by the plaintiff's attorneys - who outmaneuvered Lorillard's attorneys despite being outnumbered - and the remarkable result they achieved.