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Written by Puff Staff

Wednesday, 02 June 2010

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Backyard Smoking in New Mexico Rule OK

newmexico

In May, a judge in Albuquerque, New Mexico, had to sit in on a trial of epic importance. Actually, the trial was not really of importance, and more towards the frivolous end of the spectrum.

At the heart of the trial was a battle between neighbors over smoking. The plaintiffs, Jesus and Pat Martinez, claimed that the defendant, Linda Garcia, was greatly affecting their quality of life. They said that Garcia would go into her backyard to smoke cigarettes, and the wind would carry the smoke over her fence and into their home. Going even further, Pat Martinez stated that she believed that Garcia's secondhand cigarette smoke was adversely affecting her health. According to Albuquerque news station KOAT, Garcia was quoted as saying “I have suffered from illnesses I have never suffered before in my life.”

The entire suit seemed legless, as even the plaintiff's two expert witnesses could not factually prove that any of Garcia's smoke was present in the Martinez' home. In the end, Judge Rosie Allred ruled in favor of the defendant, Garcia. The basis of the ruling was not only the lack of evidence presented by the plaintiffs, but also the feeling by the judge that Garcia was not doing anything out of the ordinary by enjoying her cigarettes on her property.

It is hard to figure out why an attorney would waste their time with such a case, as there is no law banning smoking on personal property in New Mexico. What makes the case even more hilarious, is that Pat Martinez' husband, Jesus, was a regular smoker during ten years of the couple's marriage. This fact was pointed out by defense attorney Stephen Lane, and Jesus Martinez countered that his own smoking posed zero threat to his wife, unlike his neighbor's secondhand smoke that would drift over from a much greater distance.

One can stack this trial up to the increasingly litigious society in the United States and the “get rich quick mentality”, as well as the bad rap that constantly drifts towards smokers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






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