Pensacola legal legend who was nationally renowned dies of COVID-19

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — One of the nation’s most successful trial attorneys, and local legal legend, Fred Levin has died after fighting COVID-19 for weeks.

Mark Proctor, president of Levin Papantonio law firm in Pensacola confirmed that Mr. Levin died after battling the virus for just under two weeks, “he was symptom-free until 5 days ago, after being diagnosed 10 to 12 days ago, Proctor told WKRG News 5.

Then he took a turn for the worse, “he began slowly crashing in the last 48 hours,” Proctor said. And in what Proctor calls the ultimate irony, Levin was scheduled to get his COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday.

The 83-year-old trial attorney, according to the law firm’s website was “one of the most successful trial attorneys in the country. He has received more than twenty-five jury verdicts in excess of $1,000,000 (six in excess of $10,000,000).”

But his impact went far beyond record trial verdicts, “this is a huge loss for our law firm, the community, and even the nation,” Proctor said on the phone from his home. Proctor himself is working from home because of COVID-19. He’s diabetic. “He’s an icon,” Proctor said. Proctor says Levin was dedicated to the community, charities, and his Jewish faith, “he was an incredible person who made an incredible difference.” The University of Florida law school is named after him and he was a big supporter of the University of West Florida.

Proctor says that the pinnacle of Levin’s career was going after big tobacco and making them pay states large settlements for medical claims. That was in the 90s, but the anti-smoking ads you still see on TV today are because of that, “all of the countless lives saved because of that and it will continue to save lives.

Levin also made an impact on the boxing world, becoming the manager of Roy Jones Jr., also of Pensacola.

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