Warren v. Keane

The plaintiffs, New York state prison inmates, brought an action against officials of the New York State Department of Correctional Services, claiming that their exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) caused them long-term health risks in violation of the their freedom from cruel and unusual punishment under the Constitution and that defendants failed to enforce the smoking prohibitions already in place in the facility and to promulgate further tobacco control measures. The defendants claimed immunity from the suit. The Court found that the defendants should have known that exposure to high levels of ETS represented an unreasonable risk to the plaintiffs' health. Finally, the Court found that the defendants' qualified immunity did not apply and affirmed the district court's order denying their motion to dismiss.