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Lynn French was a nonsmoking flight attendant who began working for the airlines in 1976, when smoking was still allowed on commercial airlines. She worked for TWA Airlines. Ms. French stopped working for the airlines in 1997. Her constant work in enclosed, smoky airline cabins resulted in the deterioration of her health, including sinus problems. Her exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace caused her to begin suffering from chronic sinus infections which eventually required constant medical treatment. Ms. French underwent sinus surgery, which helped her condition, but did not completely rectify the situation. In her courtroom testimony, she said that the hardest part of her ordeal was accepting the fact that she will suffer from sinus problems and be on antibiotics for the rest of her life. On cross examination, she defended her attendance record and explained why she missed time at work.
Verdict for the plaintiff
On June 18 2002, Lynn French was awarded $5.5 million due to harm caused by secondhand tobacco smoke, also known as Environmental Tobacco Smoke, or ETS. This award was subsequently reduced to $500,000 in September 2002. The original jury took 90 minutes to reach their verdict.
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