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July 18, 2006

Second-Hand Smoke Exposure Suit Brought in New Jersey

A long-time employee has sued the casino where he was employed for 25 years alleging that his lung cancer was caused by inhaling second-hand smoke at his workplace.  The plaintiff claims never to have been a smoker.  Gambling casinos are exempt from the ban on smoking in indoor public places created by New Jersey's Smoke-Free Fair Act which became effective earlier this year.  However, that act does not immunize casinos from tort liability for personal injuries resulting from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. 

The suit was filed shortly after release of the U.S. Surgeon General's recent report that persons exposed to second-hand smoke have a 20-to-30 percent greater chance of developing heart disease or lung cancer, a finding the report claims is "indisputable."  Similar suits have been brought in the past without notable success.  However, the Surgeon General's new report may change the evidentiary weight on causation in favor of plaintiffs and more such suits can be expected across the country.  See Lisa Brennan's story in the New Jersey Law Journal.

JDP

July 18, 2006 | Permalink

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