Byrum v. Walker County, et al.

A nonsmoking prisoner brought suit alleging that the Defendants violated the Eighth Amendment by subjecting her to excessive amounts of environmental tobacco smoke.  On June 10, 1997, the U.S. District Court (Murphy, J.) denied the Defendants’ motion for summary judgment:  “The Court believes the record contains evidence sufficient to create a genuine issue of fact as to whether Defendants were deliberately indifferent to an excessive risk to Plaintiff’s health.  Defendants knew Plaintiff was allergic to cigarette smoke.  Additionally, defendants knew that the smoke was causing her to suffer chronic headaches, breathing difficulties and even irregular heart beats.  Despite knowledge of these complaints, Defendants waited for more than two months before transferring Plaintiff to a smoke-free cell.  The Court therefore concludes that summary judgment is not appropriate on this particular issue.”

(U.S. N.D., Ga., Rome Division, 1997) Civil Action No. 4: 96-CV-05 HLM.