However, it became worse than ever when pollution in Paris hit record levels last December.
Her lawyer says air pollution is causing 48,000 French deaths per year.
"We are taking the state to task because we think the medical problems that pollution victims suffer are as a result of the authorities' lack of action in tackling air pollution," François Lafforgue told Le Monde newspaper.
More cases would be brought in the coming weeks, in Lyon, Lille and elsewhere, he added.
Paris has struggled for years to combat high levels of smog and the authorities have introduced fines for any vehicle not carrying a "Crit'Air" emissions category sticker - part of a scheme to promote lower-emitting vehicles.