On Aug. 25, 2003, plaintiff Stuart Denyer, 25, a commodities broker, joined friends at Beach Bums, a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale at their unlicensed "sidewalk cafe", had a few drinks, fell into the highway, and was struck by a passing car. Settlement: $750,000.00
This is just a tiny bit of the havoc that occurs when anti-tobacco railroads a restaurant smoking law through a state. To attract customers restaurants in Florida make use of patios, and in this case sidewalks, where smoking is allowed. In this case, however, a law then forbids alcohol service on a sidewalk. Beach Bums therefor had to contort itself somehow to provide drinks and smoking. The restaurant’s creativity in the face of nanny laws cost it a pretty penny.
Prior to the enactment of the law anti-tobacco promised that banning smoking, which means banning smokers, would be good for business. Anyone who has ever run any sort of business that depends upon inducing customers to enter and spend money knows that forbidding 30 or 40 percent of the customer base to enjoy themselves is very bad for business. From coast to coast the results are the same. Business is down and workers are laid off. It is too bad anti tobacco is not responsible for the Settlement instead of Beach Bums!