Stephens v. Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.

A nonsmoking blackjack dealer at CaesarsPalace in Las Vegas brought a proposed class-action lawsuit, alleging that Caesars is not doing enough to protect casino workers from exposure to secondhand cigarette and cigar smoke at work.  Alleging both a common law and statutory violation of the company’s duty to provide a safe workplace to its employees, Stephens worked for about 20 years until she resigned her job on June 16, 2009, on advice of her physician.  Pre-cancerous cells were found in her stomach and she has suffered from shortness of breath, nausea, tightness in the chest and “ingestion of cancer-causing chemicals and toxins.”  Stephens asks the court to enter “an order requiring the Defendant to take reasonable measures to protect employees from second-hand smoke” and to certify a class of “over one-thousand members” who have worked at Caesars and who have been exposed to secondhand smoke.  See Green, S., “Longtime Dealer Sues Caesars Over Second-hand Smoke,” Las Vegas Sun, July 23, 2009.

In December 2009, the lawsuit was dismissed because of circumstances in which the plaintiff law firm could no longer represent the lead plaintiff, Tomo Stephens.  See Green, S., “Caesars Palace Lawsuit Dropped, Wynn Suit Continues,” Las Vegas Sun, December 8, 2009.

(U.S.D.C., D. Nev. 2009).