Judge Tells Man He Can't Smoke Inside Own Home

Neighbors have sued over secondhand smoke
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2015 1:47 PM CDT
A DC resident can't smoke inside his home after the neighbors complained.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(Newser) – The list of places where smokers can't smoke is already pretty long, but the latest entry is pretty remarkable: A judge in Washington, DC, has told a homeowner that he can't light up inside his own residence, reports WJLA. The problem is that Edwin Gray has a shared wall with his next-door neighbors—who happen to be lawyers—and they've filed a lawsuit complaining about secondhand smoke seeping through. The ruling that forbids the 53-year-old Gray from smoking is a temporary injunction put in place as the lawsuit proceeds.

"You want me to stop what I've been doing in my house, all my life,” says Gray. Neighbors Brendan and Nessa Coppinger say they filed suit only after Gray and his sister ignored requests to fix cracks in the common wall and in a chimney. Nessa Coppinger is pregnant with their second child, and the couple says smoke is filling their bedroom and their first daughter's playroom. They've offered to chip in on the cost of repairs. "This lawsuit would probably be gone tomorrow if they got it fixed and brought it to code,” their attorney tells the Washington Post. Johnson's sister, meanwhile, wonders whether renovations to the Coppingers' home didn't cause the problem in the first place. (A note to other smokers: If you don't quit, there's a 67% chance the habit will kill you.)

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