Rivera v. Marcoantonio, et al.

A nonsmoker who was civilly committed to a Special Treatment Unit filed a lawsuit, alleging that the defendants violated his civil rights by allowing inmates and employees to expose him to secondhand smoke.  Rivera stated that when he entered the unit, he was told that it was a smoke-free facility.  He also alleges that he has faced retaliation after filing his complaints about secondhand smoke.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the district court’s conclusion that he had failed to state a claim since “Rivera complained of improper ventilation and imperfect enforcement of a no-smoking policy.  He admitted, however, that he can escape ETS exposure by going to his room.  He did not describe an unreasonable exposure to ETS.”

However, the Court of Appeals vacated the district court’s order in which it concluded that Rivera had failed to state a claim for retaliation.   The Court of Appeals remanded the case for further proceedings.

2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 23784 (U.S.C.A. 3rd Cir. 2005).