Williams v. Harmon

A nonsmoking prisoner filed a pro se action alleging that the warden at the FCI Beckley in Beckley, West Virginia violated his Eighth Amendment rights by exposing him to secondhand smoke.  According to Williams, although the prison is billed as a “tobacco free” institution, some staff officers are permitted to smoke within ten feet of the inmates’ unit.  A U.S. Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia ruled that Williams “fails to allege how defendant Harmon was personally involved in violating Plaintiff’s constitutional rights” and “has improperly raised his claim against Defendant Harmon under the doctrine of respondeat superior and has failed to establish supervisory liability.”  Therefore, the Magistrate Judge recommended that Williams’ complaint be dismissed.  The court dismissed the claim at 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98799 (S.D. W. Va. 2013).  2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99225 (U.S.D.C. S.D. W.V. 2013).