Ware v. Batson, et al.

A pro se prisoner alleged that he was exposed to excessive amounts of secondhand smoke when he was incarcerated.  A District Court Judge granted the appellees’ summary judgment motion, at 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117382 (W.D.La., 2008).  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacated the district court’s judgment, ruling that it “erred in determining that Ware did not present any competent summary judgment evidence.  Ware’s complaint constitutes competent summary judgment evidence.”  He alleged that he was housed in a dorm with poor ventilation, that even though the dorm was called nonsmoking, over half of the inmates and some of the guards smoked there.  The Court of Appeals ruled that “Ware’s verified complaint and grievance create a genuine issue of material fact concerning whether the defendants actually enforced the no-smoking policy on a regular basis and, if not, whether the defendants’ failure to enforce the policy constituted deliberate indifference to Ware’s exposure” to secondhand smoke.

2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 16513 (U.S.C.A. 5th Cir. 2010).