Bacon v. Taylor, et al.

A nonsmoking prisoner filed a pro se action, alleging violations of his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.  Plaintiff alleges that because an officer smoked inside the prison building, he has suffered from involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke.  He also claims that he was denied access to the courts because the officer took his original draft of a legal complaint and refused to return it.  The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware dismissed the claim concerning secondhand smoke because the plaintiff “has failed to satisfy the objective factor” under Helling, to show exposure to “unreasonably high levels” of secondhand smoke.  The Court denied the Defendant’s motion for summary judgment as to the plaintiff’s retaliation claim, since there is a dispute as to material facts regarding that claim.

2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4547 (U.S.D.C. D. Del.).