The Associated Press
TOLEDO, Ohio - Bar and restaurant owners who say the toughest smoking ban in the state has cut into their business have filed a lawsuit to stop the ordinance.
The group says the law is unconstitutional because it amounts to an uncompensated government takeover of private property.
"These people are going to lose a substantial sum of money," said Richard Kerger, an attorney representing the group.
He said the city compensates those who lose money just as it did when it used eminent domain to acquire land for a downtown ballpark and a new auto plant.
A federal judge Tuesday turned down the group's request to issue a temporary restraining order that would stop enforcement of the smoking ban.
U.S. District Court Judge James Carr also scheduled a hearing for next week on the lawsuit, which was filed Friday.
The ordinance took effect in August and bans smoking in most restaurants, bars and bowling alleys unless they have a separately ventilated smoking lounge.
The city believes the public interest in good health outweighs the concerns raised by the bar and restaurant owners, said Adam Loukx, one of its attorneys.
"The health concerns are real," Loukx said. He said similar laws in other states and cities have withstood legal challenges.
Kerger said city leaders exceeded their authority because the ordinance is more strict than a state law governing smoking in public.
Arnie Elzey, owner of Arnie's Eating & Drinking Saloon, said his business is down about 20 percent since the smoking ban took effect.
"Some of us are losing money and we're seeing money go to the suburbs. This is our last choice," Elzey said.
Ohio's power plants dirtiest
Smitherman win gives Charterites new oomph
Volunteers swarm polls in last-minute try for votes
Taft's stimulus proposal rejected
As Ky. governor, Fletcher vows to 'clean up mess'
N.Ky. key to victory for Fletcher
ELECTION 2003: HAMILTON COUNTY
Zoo's vote elephant-sized
North Bend votes to remain village
Two of three voters stayed home
Voters consider pace of growth
Activists lead for Loveland council
2 school levies approved
Delhi changes trustee lineup
Williams appears victor in Norwood
Polling places not always par for course
Voters keep school board
ELECTION 2003: OHIO, INDIANA
Crone likely to return to Fairfield school board
Moeller leads Hamilton race
Children Services levy OK'd
Outlook bleak for money for schools, except Lebanon
Outsider, insider win W. Clermont
Clermont County voters return incumbent judges
3 Clermont villages get new mayors
Clermont MRDD vote in dead heat
Clermont voting down growth projects
Early returns show Kings school board may change
New faces join Mason and Lebanon city councils
Speidel advances over Morand in Deerfield Twp. trustee race
Write-in Columbus mayor's only foe
'Yes' to casino
ELECTION 2003: KENTUCKY
Stumbo survives caustic campaign to become AG
Krey remains property valuator
City passes tax on autos
Few problems in state voting
State losses new for Democrats
Ambulance levy voted down in Bromley
State victory by Grayson, 31, gives N. Ky., GOP clout
IN THE TRISTATE
Babies, movies find harmony
Parents push for new ball fields
Roselawn man held on robbery charge
Priest took charity money
Man killed in Avondale parking lot
Restaurant plans hometown feel
Rare disease leaves teen in need of liver transplant
Warren balks at money request
Franklin merger to be studied
Howard: Good Things Happening
Stella Harper worked for civil rights causes
John Wesley Seay began service to church at 9
200 more prison guards not enough, union says
Record high to be just a memory
Bar owners sue to stop smoking ban
Kentucky News Briefs
Kenton go-to guy looks for solutions
Truancy charge in the past