Young v. Donald, et al.

A nonsmoking prisoner filed a pro se action, alleging that his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment was violated by the Defendants because of his exposure to secondhand smoke at the prison where he was incarcerated.  Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Plaintiff cannot meet the subjective or objective prong of his claim and that they are entitled to the defense of qualified immunity, and that they cannot be held liable on the grounds of respondeat superior. The Magistrate Judge denied the Defendants’ motion.  The District Court concurred with the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation.  The Court ruled that “it is clear that Plaintiff presented evidence creating genuine issues of material fact as to both the subjective and objective components of his deliberate indifference claim.”  The Court also denied the contention that the Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity because they had no “fair warning” that “housing the Plaintiff in a prison that had excellent airflow and an enforced no-smoking policy would violate his constitutional rights…”  The Court ruled that “[b]ased on pre-existing law, Defendants had fair and clear warning that their alleged conduct was unlawful.”

2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25081 (U.S.D.C. S.D. Ga.).