Reid v. Goord, et al.

A pro se prisoner sued various defendants, alleging that his Eighth Amendment rights were violated due to his exposure to secondhand smoke in prison.  He was incarcerated in several different facilities; Reid alleged that he has preexisting diagnoses of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.  Although smoking was banned by policy, Reid alleged that there were many violations and that he was therefore exposed to secondhand smoke, thus worsening his health.  At the close of discovery, the defendants moved for summary judgment.  The U.S. District Court denied the motion as against several named defendants, ruling that, despite “the absence of any direct expert testimony establishing causation, plaintiff’s medical records are sufficient to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether there is a causal connection between the exacerbation of his condition and exposure to” secondhand smoke.  The Court also noted that the Eighth Amendment protects against imminent dangers as well as actual injury.

2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30636 (U.S.D.C. W.D. N.Y. 2010).