Frenchman Vincent Lambert dies after years-long life support battle

People hold placards reading 'I support Vincent' and a picture of Lambert during a hearing on his case at the European Court of Human Rights on June 5, 2015.

Paris (CNN)Vincent Lambert, a former nurse whose case had come to symbolize France's right-to-die debate, has died.

Lambert, who had been on life support for more than a decade at Sebastopol Hospital in Reims, northeast France, died Thursday at 8:25 local time (12:25 ET), according to Jean Paillot, a lawyer representing his parents.
The 42-year-old had sustained severe brain damage following a car accident in 2008 and had been living in a vegetative state.
Medical experts had determined that his situation was irreversible.
    For more than five years, legal battles have raged between his family members over whether he should be kept alive, igniting a watershed debate in the country and drawing in international bodies, the French President and even Pope Francis.
    In May, that fight appeared to have finally reached its end, with a judicial ruling that allowed doctors to take Lambert off life support.