HARTFORD -- A Superior Court judge has tossed out a lawsuit filed by a group of bar and restaurant owners who contended the statewide ban on smoking in those establishments is unconstitutional.
In the suit filed in July, the group said the ban violates owners' equal protection rights because it excludes private clubs and casinos. But on Friday, Hartford Superior Court Judge Douglas Lavine granted Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's motion to strike the lawsuit, saying the state Legislature has a "rational basis" to make exemptions. He also denied a request for an injunction to stop the enforcement of the ban.
Blumenthal called the decision a victory for public health.
In his decision, Lavine noted that private clubs are frequently subject to different laws than public places and added that the state may not have the authority to enforce the ban in casinos, which are considered sovereign states.