Antonio Cipollone, Awarded First Anti-Tobacco Damages, Dies at 66
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ Antonio Cipollone, whose lawsuit against three cigarette makers in the death of his first wife resulted in the first jury damage award for a smoker’s death, has died, his wife said today.
Cipollone was admitted to Community Memorial Hospital in Toms River Jan. 4 and died Jan. 10 of pneumonia and heart failure, said Dorothy Cipollone. He was 66.
A day after he entered the hospital, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a $400,000 judgment against Liggett Group Inc. But the court ordered a new trial and opened the door for other issues.
The June 1988 award after a four-month trial was the first granted by a jury in a lawsuit brought by a smoker or relatives against the tobacco industry.
Cipollone had carried on the suit brought by him and his first wife, Rose, who died at 58 of lung cancer in 1984. The suit named Liggett, Lorillard Inc. and Philip Morris Inc., which made the cigarettes Mrs. Cipollone smoked.
Cipollone knew about the reversal, but ″it didn’t seem to concern him in the least,″ said Dorothy Cipollone.
″He was happy that he had gone through with whatever his wife, Rose, had started. He never had regrets.″
Cipollone’s attorney, Marc Z. Edell, said the family was still deciding whether to continue the case. No other family members were parties to the original suit.
Cipollone was born in Italy and came to the United States at age 15, living first in New York City. He worked in construction and as a cable splicer for U.S. Steel and in his own business before retiring in 1986.
He and Rose lived for years in Little Ferry, and he spent the last years of his life in Lakehurst.