Judge won't let parties join in on smoking lawsuit

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By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - Opponents to the recent decision by the Bullitt County Board of Health to impose a smoking ban will have to file their own lawsuit.

Bullitt Circuit Judge Rodney Burress ruled on Monday that he would not allow parties, such as Bullitt County Choice, to become part of the existing lawsuit filed by Bullitt Fiscal Court and the eight municipalities against the health board.

Norma Lemme, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, said that he feared bringing in other parties would lead to additional evidence and depositions being taken.

He also felt the exhibits filed by the health department would also bring in additional work to determine their validity.

Attorney Steven Megerle said that a federal lawsuit over the lack of due process has already been filed by Bullitt County Choice, Publishers Printing Co., Compton Enterprises, the Copy Cats and Tony Thompson.

Burress overruled the additional parties. He stated that the main question of the lawsuit is whether the board overstepped its boundaries when it passed the smoking ban in public places.

A hearing will be held in August on the suit. The regulation is supposed to go into effect in September 2011.