Verdict returned in less than an hour in son’s secondhand smoke suit


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After deliberating lower than one hour following an eight-day trial, a Jefferson Circuit Court docket jury dominated towards a person who claimed he suffered pulmonary illness and different sicknesses as a result of his father chain-smoked round him when he was a toddler. 

Consultants stated it was the primary time a toddler had sued a mother or father over damages from secondhand smoke. 

Michael Bobzien sued the property of his father, Hugo Bobzien Jr., who was president and CEO of American Business Barge Traces earlier than his loss of life in 2016. 

Associated: Lower out of will, son sues wealthy father’s property over secondhand smoke he inhaled as a toddler

Michael Bobzien alleged his father destroyed his well being by chain-smoking Fortunate Strikes, Carltons and cigars by way of his childhood. 

However in a closing argument Friday, one of many property’s attorneys, John Sosbe, informed the jury there is no such thing as a manner the elder Bobzien might have foreseen that secondhand smoke was dangerous when his son was a toddler as a result of the surgeon common didn’t announce that till 1986. 

“There was no scientific consensus about risks of secondhand smoke” till lengthy after Bobzien left house in 1976, Sosbe stated. 

One of many plaintiff’s attorneys, Mark Hurst, stated Bobzien’s father needed to know smoking was dangerous to his son as a result of he needed to be hospitalized twice as a toddler with bronchial asthma and took steroids for seven years. 

“He was asthmatic, and his father didn’t care,” Hurst stated. 

Hurst requested the jury to award $9 million in punitive damages due to Hugo Bobzien’s alleged reckless habits. 

The case was tried earlier than Choose Olu Stevens, who twice refused to dismiss it earlier than trial. 

Though greater than 420 lawsuits have been filed over damages from secondhand smoke, Richard Daynard, chair of the Tobacco Merchandise Legal responsibility Venture at Northeastern College, stated Bobzien’s was the primary he knew of wherein a toddler sued a mother or father over it. 

Bobzien alleged he suffered from continual obstructive pulmonary illness and different illnesses brought on by being “forcibly, knowingly, deliberately, wantonly, chronically and recklessly” subjected to his father’s ever-present cloud of smoke whereas rising up in Louisville. 

The property — Bobzien’s siblings — claimed he sued as a result of his father minimize him out of his will and that he waited 30 years to take action after U.S. Surgeon Basic C. Everett Koop warned of the dangers so-called involuntary smoking in 1986. 

Stevens didn’t enable proof that Bobzien had been disinherited by his father. 

Andrew Wolfson: 502-582-7189; awolfson@courier-journal.com; Twitter: @adwolfson.



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