Wynn seeks dismissal of class action

Kathy Woods Dec. 14, 2009, 3:17pm

LAS VEGAS (Legal Newsline)-Wynn Las Vegas filed court papers on Friday seeking dismissal of lawsuit claiming the casino is exposing its employees to second hand smoke.

On October 20, a Las Vegas dealer and Transport Workers Union officer, Kanie Kastroll, filed a class action lawsuit claiming that the Wynn Las Vegas casino was exposing employees to dangerous second hand smoke.

Kastroll claims that the exposure to second hand smoke is causing eye irritation, coughing, sore throat, sneezing, shortness of breath, dizziness, wheezing, tightness of the chest, asthma, headache, nausea and indigestion of cancer-causing chemicals and toxins.

Wynn is represented by the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP and they argued Friday that; "The real basis for this action appears by all measures to be the pursuit of a political agenda."

"Although not specifically disclosed in her pleading, plaintiff is the president of a local union who has fought for years to unionize a certain group of Wynn's casino workers. In what appears to be either a retaliatory lashing out at the Wynn or an otherwise shameless grab for publicity, plaintiff has filed this action with no real causes of action under Nevada law, and no jurisdiction whatsoever for this court," Wynn said in its filing.

After her filing of the lawsuit Transport Workers Union Gaming Division in a press release tried to distance itself from the suit even praising Wynn Las Vegas for its effort to reduce second hand smoke.

The Wynn Las Vegas is the second casino to be sued for putting the health of their employees at risk. The first was Caesar's Palace back in July.

"These casinos are going to keep fighting for the right to offer smoking, but it is only going to take one judge to decide the casino should pay damages to change that train of thought," said Casino Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. "If there is a fear of being sued and losing millions of dollars per case, the casino may re-think their smoking policies."

Kastroll who is a dealer at Wynn Las Vegas has worked in smoke filled casinos for 20 years and says this about smokers, "It's literally difficult to breathe, especially if you have one on your left, and one on your right, sometimes you have five of them."

The lawsuit seeks an order requiring Wynn "to take reasonable measures to protect its employees from second hand smoke" and an unspecified amount for costs and attorney's fees.

Wynn's attorneys said in their filing that: "Due its ubiquitous nature, the court can never be certain about the source of any individual claimant's exposure to second hand smoke. Indeed, Wynn cannot control its employees' exposure to tobacco smoke outside of the workplace. It may be true that many of its employees are exposed to second hand smoke on a regular basis while at home or other places they frequent."

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Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
410 17th Street
Denver, CO 80202

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