Marcus v. Epps, et al.

A nonsmoking prisoner filed 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983 claims, alleging that prison officials violated his Eighth Amendment rights by subjecting him to secondhand smoke.  The U.S. District Court for the District of Mississippi dismissed his lawsuit.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed, ruling that his “claims concerning exposure to environmental tobacco smoke may give rise to an Eighth Amendment violation.”  The Court of Appeals further ruled: “Although inartful, his complaint does not fail to allege sufficient facts to state a facially plausible claim for relief at this juncture, although the ultimate viability of Marcus’s claim is dubious.”  The case was remanded to the district court for further proceedings consistent with the standard set out in Helling v. McKinney.  See Associated Press, “Miss. Inmate’s Secondhand Smoke Claim Reinstated,” May 15, 2008.

2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 10413 (U.SC.A. 5th Cir. 2008).