After battling for nearly three months of trial, Madelyn Chaber and H. Joseph Escher III came together and shook hands in the San Francisco courtroom where jurors had just returned a $250,000 punitive damage verdict Wednesday morning.

They congratulated each other politely, but the verdict was a disappointment for Chaber, who sued the R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris tobacco companies for fraud and negligence in contributing to Leslie Whiteley’s development of lung cancer.