Jackson v. Commissioner of Corrections, et al.

A prisoner with a serious heart condition and serving a life sentence brought an action to prevent the prison officials from housing him, or any nonsmoking prisoner, in a cell with a smoker.  A Superior Court judge (King., J.) dismissed the complaint in 1994.  However, on December 28, 1995, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, holding that material fact issues existed, unanimously voted to reinstate the suit. See Ellement, J., “Inmate’s Smoking Lawsuit Reinstated,” Boston Globe, December 29, 1995, 23, 30; Johnson, G., “Lifer Sues State Over Second-hand Smoke,” Patriot Ledger, December 29, 1995, 7; “Court Allows Inmate’s Suit on Smoking to Advance,” Springfield Union-News, December 29, 1995, B6; and “Inmate’s Smoking Suit OK’d,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, January 8, 1996, 2.  In July 1996, the parties entered into a settlement whereby a new smoking policy, at 103 C.M.R. 444, was adopted.  The new policy bans inmate smoking in most areas of the prisons.

658 N.E.2d 981, 39 Mass. App. Ct. 566, 10.8 TPLR 2.306 (1995).