“I voiced through it,” he said in an interview with The Washington Post.
“I implemented a promise made to Ed Caprio after which I will pursue it in his memory. For him.”
Represented a promise kept in judgment, but it also represents something else. Rintoul’s lawyers believe it was history-making – the first of its kind to include a same-sex couple in Florida, if not the United States.
Lawyers said that in most of the wrongful death cases in the Sunshine State, a widow or widower cannot recover damages until the couple gets a fatal illness after their marriage. Because same-sex couples only had the legal right to marry, which could be an impossible hurdle to articulate to them.
Broward Circuit Judge David Hames ruled last year that it would be unconstitutional to apply the rule in Rintoul’s case.
Rintoul and Caprio legalized the sex in Florida just days after their wedding, but their lawyers argued that the couple, who spent nearly two years together, would have done so decades earlier if they had been allowed. Juri agreed.
“This jury identified Ed and Brian with open arms,” said Steven Hammer, one of the lawyers. “And the prejudices and prejudices that have been there for years and years about gay couples are not present in this court.”
Steve Callahan, a spokesman for the Philip Morris parent company Altria, said the company plans to further review the decision. “We believe the punitive damages award is excessive and a clear violation of constitutional and state law,” he said.
But Tara Borelli, a lawyer with the gay rights organization Lambda Legal, told the Sun-Sentinel that the jury found it right. “Florida’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples has always been unconstitutional, so it can never be used as an excuse to deprive survivors of significant benefits,
” she said.
Rintoul, met with a Vietnam War veteran and Caprio, while both worked at the same advertising agency in Los Angeles. They moved forward, making a commitment to each other. Rintoul said they were barred from marrying together for most of their years, and yet they were like any other married couple.
“We did what everybody else does,” he said. “We go to the movies, we have a night, we meet friends for dinner. … If we had a disagreement, I would go to them and I would say, ‘Well, you need to apologize to me is.’ laughing.”
In, Caprio was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He had started smoking at the age and was also addicted to quitting cigarettes – even after diagnosis. He filed a lawsuit against tobacco companies, ending a lawsuit that ended in a jury before he died and Rintoul took up the case on his behalf.
In court, his lawyers argued that the companies had intentionally made the youth addicted to their products. He pointed to Altria’s investment in e-cigarette maker Juul – the company accusing some critics of creating a youth smoking epidemic – as evidence that Big Tobacco has not changed its ways.
“Adoption by young people is the key to their business,” said attorney Scott Slessinger.
“And when they speak from one side of the mouth, actions speak louder than words.”
Rintoul said he struggled without Caprio, whom he called the love of his life. He said he felt loneliness and devastation in contrast to the loss he had experienced. In a few days, he said, he sits on the beach and talks to Caprio, whose ashes were spread in the sea. “It’s a very lonely life now,” he said.
The jury’s verdict felt that when he and Caprio legitimized the same type of marriage there was a kind of confirmation: their relationship over the years should no longer come into shock. Rintoul mentioned that he grew up in S and S and served in the military at a time when he could dismiss Fraud.