Saleem v. Helman, et al.

A nonsmoking federal prisoner filed a lawsuit against prison officials, alleging that they had violated his Eighth Amendment rights by subjecting him to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).  The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants; Saleem appealed, arguing that the district court erred by viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the defendants.  The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, ruling that “[n]othing in the record suggests that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to the hazards of ETS.  To the contrary, their adoption of a restrictive smoking policy undermines Saleem’s allegation that the defendants ignored the health risks associated with ETS.”  The court also noted that Saleem conceded that the warden had attempted to enforce the prison’s smoking ban in various ways and that these “actions portray the defendants as doggedly trying to enforce the no smoking policy, not as deliberately indifferent,” as would need to be the case to support a claim of a violation of a prisoner’s Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.

(U.S.C.A. 7th Cir. 1999), 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 13319, see 182 F. 3d 922, 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 24439.