Employee Sues Casino over Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke

July 18, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A Tropicana Casino & Resort employee is suing the casino's parent company, saying his lung cancer was caused by exposure to second-hand smoke during his 25 years of employment.

The New Jersey Law Journal reports that the premises liability suit claims Aztar Corp. “caused and permitted an abnormally dangerous activity” by permitting smoking on the gaming floor, failed to warn the employees of the danger and failed to take protective measures after federal regulators announced in 1992 that second-hand smoke contained cancer-causing substances.

The employee says he has never smoked and was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, according to Law Journal’s report. He is suing to recoup medical bills and future lost income. The suit also seeks injunctive relief to stop the casino from operating “in an unsafe and dangerous manner,” according to the news report.

Effective April 15, the Smoke-Free Fair Act banned smoking in indoor public places. However, New Jersey casinos won exemption from the ban.

Recently US Surgeon General Richard Carmona released a report finding that nonsmokers exposed to “environmental tobacco smoke” have a 20% to 30% greater risk of contracting heart disease and lung cancer.