Secondhand Smoke Lawsuit Seeks Class Action Status

The mother of a casino employee who died of cancer last year has filed a class action lawsuit against the owners of Harrah’s New Orleans Casino, alleging that secondhand smoke killed her son and exposed other employees to health risks. 

The secondhand smoke lawsuit was filed earlier this month against Caesars Entertainment Corp. by Denise Bevrotte, the mother of Maceo Bevrotte Jr., who died of cancer on March 9, 2010.

According to allegations raised in the complaint, Maceo Bevroette Jr.’s cancer was caused by inhaling the casino’s smoke-filled air for about 15 years, even though he did not smoke himself.

Did You Know?

Millions of Philips CPAP Machines Recalled

Philips DreamStation, CPAP and BiPAP machines sold in recent years may pose a risk of cancer, lung damage and other injuries.

Learn More

The lawsuit seeks class action status on behalf of at least 1,000 nonsmoking Harrah’s casino employees, alleging that Harrah’s failed to take any actions to protect its employees from the dangers of secondhand smoke inhalation.

The state of Louisiana has refused to ban smoking in bars or gambling establishments on several occasions, but does ban smoking in restaurants, public facilities and most other businesses.

A similar lawsuit filed against Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, was settled in September for $4.5 million. In that case, the plaintiff, Vince Rennich, said he developed lung cancer after breathing in smoke at the casino for 25 years. 

There are about 8,000 smoker lawsuits filed against tobacco companies in Florida, known as Engle Progeny lawsuits. These individual claims stem from a 2006 decision by the Florida Supreme Court, in Engle v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., to vacate a class action verdict from 2000, which awarded $145 billion to an estimated 700,000 smokers. Although the appeals court overturned the award, plaintiffs were allowed to file individual claims and use the liability findings from the class action trial.

The ruling does allow juries in the current smoker lawsuits to see previous jury findings that determined cigarettes are defective and dangerous products. Tobacco companies have called the ruling unfair and unconstitutional, because it allows juries to look at a previous jury’s findings. However, plaintiffs have pointed out that they must still prove that the addiction caused the damages, as opposed to the damage being caused by the choice of the smoker to start smoking.


  • PearlJune 27, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    I have COPD and I never smoked a day in my life I'm 65 years old and I need to know is there a long way I can see the casino for this if so can a lawyer please contact me

  • TheodoreSeptember 14, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    I just found out I have 3 stage copd never smoke in my life my parents both smoke so did my grand parents they smoke all there life If possible have a case

  • TammyApril 29, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    I suffer from emphysema due to 2nd hand smoke as a fetus. My mother whom suffered from emphysema and COPD has recently passed away. Do I have a case either way?

  • williamAugust 3, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    ihave been subjected to second handsmoke for 40 years wife,brotherinlaw,uncle,friends ect.

"*" indicates required fields

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

Provide additional contact information if you want an attorney to review your comments and contact you about a potential case. This information will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

Bard Argues Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Previously Selected for Bellwether Trials Are No Longer
Bard Argues Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Previously Selected for Bellwether Trials Are No Longer "Representative" (Posted 4 days ago)

Bard claims two cases selected for the third and fourth bellwether trials are no longer representative of the litigation due to the plaintiffs' worsening injuries and need for additional surgeries due to their failed hernia mesh products.