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Secondhand Smoke Lawsuit Filed Against Harrah's In New Orleans

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Over the past decade, legislators around the US have been crafting laws that banned smoking indoors. Many states, however, have excluded casinos from having to adhere to the gaming laws, and that has caused a problem with anti-smoking lobbying groups.

Now, a federal class-action lawsuit has been filed against Harrah's New Orleans Hotel and Casino. The lawsuit claims that the casino knew the dangers of secondhand smoke, yet did nothing to protect their employees from those dangers.

Denise Bevrotte brought on the lawsuit after her son, Maceo Bevrotte Jr., died last year from the effects of secondhand smoke. Bevrotte worked as a dealer in the casino for around fifteen years, and his mother believes that Harrah's negligence led directly to the death of her son.

"Despite overwhelming scientific studies, Harrah's has failed to protect the health and welfare of many of its employees who performed and must perform their jobs while breathing in secondhand cigarette and cigar smoke," said Bevrotte in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit points out all of the ways that Harrah's makes it easier for patrons to obtain cigarette's and cigars, such as selling them on the gaming floor. The casino, like many around the US, has started in recent years to take secondhand smoke more serious.

Casinos have installed high powered smoke-eaters to lessen the secondhand smoke effect. Other casinos have eliminated smoking indoors, and have set up designated areas outside the casino for smokers to partake in their habit.

Despite the outcry for smoking bans in all casinos, dozens of states still have casinos exempted from their smoking bans. The majority cite a fear of losing financial benefits that come from the casinos should the gaming establishments lose patrons because of the bans.

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