Hall v. Warren, et al.

A nonsmoking prisoner brought a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983 against prison officials alleging that they unreasonable exposed him to secondhand smoke despite a medical notice that he should be placed in tobacco-free housing.  The District Court dismissed all claims against a doctor, the primary healthcare provider at the prison, and granted summary judgment as to the remaining defendant officials.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of claims against the doctor because Hall had not exhausted his administrative remedies.  However, the Court of Appeals reversed the summary judgment for the other defendants, ruling that “[e]xisting precedent convinces us that Hall introduced sufficient evidence of deliberate indifference to survive summary judgment given the numerous unanswered KITE [a written form that inmates use to communicate with prison staff] notices Hall sent to the defendants notifying them of his medical condition and requesting that they comply with the SAN [special accommodation notice] requiring tobacco-free housing.”

2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 21229 (U.S.C.A. 6th Cir. 2011).