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Shimp v. New Jersey Bell Telephone Company

A Major Public Health Concern, A Common Law Right, Clear And Overwhelming Evidence, Balancing Rights And Legislative Response

Plaintiff

Donna M. Shimp

Defendant

New Jersey Bell Telephone Company

Plaintiff's Claim

An injunction should be issued requiring her employer, New Jersey Bell Telephone Company, to enact a ban on smoking in the workplace.

Chief Lawyer for Plaintiff

Charles A. Sweeney

Chief Defense Lawyer

Stuart B. Finifter

Judge

Philip A. Gruccio (writing for the court)

Place

Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division

Date of Decision

20 December 1976

Decision

An injunction can be issued requiring New Jersey Bell Telephone Company to ban workplace smoking.

Significance

The ruling found that a worker's common law right to a safe working environment is threatened by the presence of second-hand or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), and that an employee with a medical sensitivity to ETS has the common law right to require an employer to ban smoking in the workplace.

Related Cases

  • Canonico v. Celanese Corp. of America, 11 N.J. Super. 445 App. Div. (1951).
  • Smith v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of New Jersey, No. 6-3617-81E N.J. Super. Ct. Ch. Div. (1983).
  • McCarthy v. Department of Social & Health Services, 759 P.2d 351 Wash. (1988).

Sources

Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) and Smoking In Public Places, http:/www.thetma.org.uk/ETS.htm

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980