Evans v. State of Mississippi, et al.

A nonsmoking prisoner filed a pro se lawsuit, claiming that he was subjected to secondhand smoke while he was a prisoner at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution and that his involuntary exposure constituted cruel and unusual punishment.  He claims that he suffers from watery eyes, breathing problems and chest pain due to that exposure.  The U.S. District Court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, ruling that “Evans does not allege sufficient facts for the Court to determine that his exposure was severe enough to constitute unreasonably high levels of” secondhand smoke.  Thus, Evans did not meet the first part of the Helling test.  The Court also ruled that “it appears the Defendants were not deliberately indifferent to the Plaintiff’s situation” and, thus, Evans failed to meet the second part of the Helling test.

2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137871 (U.S.D.C. So. D., Miss. 2012).