NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A lawsuit seeking class-action status accuses Harrah's New Orleans Casino of failing to protect its employees from dangerous levels of secondhand smoke.

The mother of a former Harrah's dealer who died of cancer last year filed the federal suit Wednesday against the casino's owner, Caesars Entertainment Corp. The suit claims Maceo Bevrotte Jr.'s cancer resulted from prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke at the casino.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and asks a judge to certify the case as a class action for at least 1,000 current, former or future nonsmoking casino employees.

A casino spokeswoman didn't immediately return a call for comment.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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