An asthmatic inmate sued the South Carolina Department of Corrections, alleging that prison officials were subjecting him to regular exposure to secondhand smoke and, thus, subjecting him to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court ruled that “prison officials were without question made aware as early as February, 1999, by their own prison physician that because of Tudor’s asthmatic condition he should not be exposed to smoke and should be placed in a no-smoking cell. However, Tudor was continually exposed to ETS, housed with smoking cell-mates, made this exposure known to [Warden Rickie] Harrison [of the Kershaw Correctional Institute] and other officials, and the defendant repeatedly failed to act to protect Tudor.” The court found that the department violated Tudor’s rights and ordered it to pay him $3200 in damages — $100 per month during a 32-month period where the court found that the department had acted with “deliberate indifference” to Tudor’s health. See Monk, J., “Court Awards AsthmaticS.C. Inmate $3,200 in Smoking Case,” The State (Columbia, SC), October 7, 2005.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the award, in Tudor v. Harrison, 195 Fed. Appx. 160, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 21536, ruling that “the findings of the district court are almost entirely factual and are not clearly erroneous.” See “Inmate’s Damages Award for Smoke Exposure Upheld on Appeal,” Corrections Professional, February 9, 2007.
(C/A No.: 2:98-1927-RBH, U.S.D.C. D.S.C. 2005).