Medical care.

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U.S. Appeals Court

Alvarado v. Litscher 267 F.3d 648 (7th Cir. 2001). A prisoner brought an action against a prison alleging deliberate indifference to his exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court denied the prison's motion to dismiss and the appeals court affirmed, finding that the prisoner stated a claim upon which relief could be granted. The court found that the prisoner's current and future health had been endangered because he had chronic asthma. The prisoner alleged that other prisoners in his non-smoking housing unit smoked in violation of prison policy because correctional officers were frequently not at their post to enforce the smoking ban. The prisoner also alleged that he is unable to participate in programs that would enhance his chances of parole because smoking is permitted in common areas of the prison. (Dodge Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)


U.S. District Court

Breakiron v. Neal 166 F.Supp.2d 1110 (N.D.Tex. 2001). A county prisoner brought a [section] 1983 action seeking damages for injuries he sustained when a jail door closed on him, and for alleged intentional or deliberate deprivation of medical care. The district dismissed the damage and deliberate deprivation claims. The court also held that the county's act of deducting payments from the prisoner's inmate trust account did not violate the prisoner's rights because it was rationally related to the county's legitimate interest in the efficient use of prison resources and the prisoner was not denied medical treatment as the result of any inability to pay for medical treatment. (Hunt County Jail, Texas)


U.S. Appeals Court

Chisolm v. McManimon 275 F.3d 315 (3rd Cir. 2001). A hearing-impaired detainee brought a suit against the warden of a pretrial detainment facility and county court system, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Rehabilitation Act, [section] 1983 and a state discrimination law, for failing to provide an interpreter and other services. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants and the detainee appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that the county court system was not entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity during an ongoing merger with the state court system. The appeals court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to: (1) the effectiveness of alternate aids or services provided to the detainee when the jail failed to provide a sign language interpreter during the intake process, activate closed captioning capabilities on a prison television, (2) provide a text device for transcribing telephone calls; an d whether pencil and paper were effective auxiliary aids in place of a sign language interpreter; and (3) whether exceptions to institutional rules on telephone calls were an effective alternative to providing special telephones. The court held that...

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