King v. Caruso, et al.

A pro se prisoner sued over his exposure to secondhand smoke in prison.  The Defendant prison officials filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that they have qualified immunity from liability and that King should not be able to recover damages after February 1, 2009, when the prison became smoke-free.  A magistrate recommended that the motion for summary judgment be denied.  A district court judge ruled that the issue of qualified immunity is an issue for the jury.  As to the second issue, the court ruled that testimony from a medical expert as to his risk of future injury caused by his exposure to secondhand smoke “amounts to mere conjecture and possibility, and not a predicted future disease that is medically reasonable certain to follow.”  Therefore, King “lacks sufficient evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for him on his claim to future damages.  That part of the summary judgment motion is granted.

2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105359 (U.S.D.C. W.D. Mich. 2011).