Grant v. Taft, et al.

A nonsmoking prisoner filed a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983, alleging that certain conditions at prison violated her Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.  Ms. Grant, who suffered from sarcoidosis, which is a lung condition, alleged that she was exposed to secondhand smoke because inmates were violating the prison’s no-smoking policy.  The District Court granted the defendants summary judgment because “there is no evidence from which the Court or a jury could conclude that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to Ms. Grant’s serious medical needs.”  The court further noted that “the fact that prison officials may have been negligent in enforcing a non-smoking policy, or even reckless in their enforcement, is not enough to prove liability,” without a showing of deliberate indifference.  The court also ruled that Ms. Grant did not allege that the housing unit at the prison contained unreasonably high levels of secondhand smoke.

2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36543 (U.S.D.C. S. D. Ohio).