Holman v. Gillen, et al.

A prisoner in a protective custody unit filed a civil rights action alleging that his Eighth Amendment rights had been violated by prison officials who required him to share a cell with a smoker, since they did not provide him with a “no-smoking” cell.  The District Court granted summary judgement for the defendants, ruling that the plaintiff did not show that his health was being actually harmed by the exposure to secondhand smoke.  Holman did not raise the issue when he was examined by doctors.  The court ruled that “[n]othing in the record suggests that the plaintiff had a medical condition necessitating that he be kept away from smoke-filled areas.”  The court further ruled that, even if the plaintiff had shown that he was harmed by the exposure to smoke, “the defendants would nevertheless be entitled to summary judgment because there is no evidence that they were deliberately indifferent to any risk of serious harm to the plaintiff.

2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24271 (U.S.D.C. No. Dist. Ill. 2002).