Attorneys have dropped one second-hand smoke lawsuit against Caesars Palace, but another suit is planned

Attorneys have dropped a lawsuit claiming Caesars Palace workers in Las Vegas are exposed to dangerous second-hand cigarette smoke.

According to a report by the Las Vegas Sun, Jay Edelson, an attorney with the Chicago firm of KamberEdelson, said the suit filed July 22 in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas was dismissed last week because of circumstances in which the firm could no longer represent the lead plaintiff, a former blackjack dealer named Tomo Stephens.

Edelson said this week the firm plans to file another suit against the Strip resort and its parent company, Harrah’s Entertainment, in behalf of a different plaintiff who has yet to be identified.

In the meantime, the firm continues to pursue a similar case against Wynn Las Vegas.

Stephens said in the initial lawsuit that she quit her job June 16 on the advice of her doctor. The lawsuit says pre-cancerous cells were found in her stomach and that over the years she was exposed to second-hand smoke causing irritation to her eyes, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, dizziness, wheezing or tightness in the chest, headache, nausea and ingestion of cancer-causing chemicals and toxins.

The lawsuit sought to represent as a class all former, current and future Caesars employees exposed to unsafe levels of second-hand smoke.

The lawsuit sought an order requiring Caesars to take “reasonable measures” to protect its employees from second-hand smoke.

Edelson said his firm decided it couldn’t represent Stephens after “outside forces” interfered with the litigation. He didn’t elaborate, according to the Sun report, but he did mention in the context of the Wynn case that plaintiff’s attorneys were “deeply disappointed” by recent comments by Joseph Carbon, director of the Transport Workers Union Gaming Division (Local 721), that were supportive of Wynn’s efforts to reduce second-hand smoke.

In 2007 elections, the TWU won the right to represent some 1,100 dealers at Caesars Palace and Wynn. The union is close to signing a contract with Wynn, but remains far apart in talks with Caesars Palace, the union said.