Posted on: September 11, 2023, 12:32h.
Last updated on: September 11, 2023, 12:32h.
A former waiter at Crown Casino Melbourne’s most exclusive VIP room is taking legal action against Crown Resorts due to alleged negligence. Dien Nguyen, 39, was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer after working for six years in Crown’s Mahogany Room.
According to the Melbourne Herald-Sun, Nguyen believes that the tobacco smoke from the high rollers in the Mahogany Room caused his severe medical condition.
Although smoking in indoor public spaces was banned in Victoria in 2007, Crown’s high roller rooms were granted an exemption. These rooms were the only indoor public places in the state where smoking was allowed.
Based on the Herald-Sun report, all areas at Crown have been smoke-free for approximately two years.
The lawsuit states, “During the Crown work, patrons of the Mahogany Room were permitted to smoke cigarettes and cigars pursuant to an exemption from relevant Victorian anti-smoking laws.”
Nguyen argues that Crown was negligent in allowing smoking in the workplace and failing to measure the levels of smoke, investigate the health risks, provide adequate ventilation, and inform staff of the risks.
Court documents reveal, “Prior to 2017, Crown had received complaints and notifications in relation to employees suffering from lung cancer or serious lung diseases which were alleged to have been caused by exposure to cigarette and cigar smoke in the course of their employment in the Mahogany Room.”
Nguyen claims that Crown should have been aware of the risks associated with the development of serious lung diseases.
The plaintiff is seeking a trial by jury and is requesting damages, interests, and costs from Crown. Nguyen has incurred and is likely to incur medical and nursing expenses, and will require care from his wife in the future.
When asked for comment, Crown declined to respond due to ongoing litigation.
Mahogany Room memberships are categorized as Black, Platinum, and Gold. To achieve Platinum membership, one must spend A$30K (US$20K) at the casino within a six-month period. Black membership is by invitation only.
Despite its luxurious atmosphere, an insider confirmed in 2016 that the Mahogany Room had a strong odor due to the high prevalence of smokers. This confirmation was given to News.com.au anonymously.
Every second person is a smoker in there,” said the source.
“I think that’s disgraceful, but they pay so much tax that the government comes up with this ridiculous legislation that says smoking is allowed,” the source added.