Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Thomas J. Musto, Jr v. Kathryn E. Macfarland and South Woods State Prison

April 6, 2011

THOMAS J. MUSTO, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
KATHRYN E. MACFARLAND AND SOUTH WOODS STATE PRISON, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hillman, District Judge

OPINION

Presently before the Court is the motion of defendants for summary judgment on plaintiff's claims that defendants violated his constitutional rights when he was exposed to second-hand cigarette and cigar smoke while incarcerated. For the reasons expressed below, defendants' motion will be granted.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, Thomas J. Musto, Jr., was an inmate at defendant South Woods State Prison (SWSP) from March 3, 2003 through February 23, 2004, and again from April 16, 2004 through December 14, 2005. Plaintiff claims that SWSP, and SWSP's warden at the time, defendant Kathryn Macfarland, violated his Fourteenth Amendment due process right and his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment when they allowed him to be exposed to second-hand smoke, or "environmental tobacco smoke" or "ETS," in his cell and in various common areas. He claims that his exposure to ETS aggravated his asthma, and that defendants ignored his numerous complaints. He seeks compensatory and punitive damages against defendants.

Defendants have moved for summary judgment on both of plaintiff's claims. Plaintiff has opposed defendants' motion.

DISCUSSION

A. Jurisdiction

Because plaintiff has brought claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged violations of his constitutional rights, this Court has jurisdiction of this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343.

B. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate where the Court is satisfied that "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986); Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c).

An issue is "genuine" if it is supported by evidence such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict in the nonmoving party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A fact is "material" if, under the governing substantive law, a dispute about the fact might affect the outcome of the suit. Id. In considering a motion for summary judgment, a district court may not make credibility determinations or engage in any weighing of the evidence; instead, the non-moving party's evidence "is to be believed and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Marino v. Industrial Crating Co., 358 F.3d 241, 247 (3d Cir. 2004)(quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255).

Initially, the moving party has the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once the moving party has met this burden, the nonmoving party must identify, by affidavits or otherwise, specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. Thus, to withstand a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must identify specific facts and affirmative evidence that contradict those offered by the moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256-57. A party opposing summary judgment must do more than just rest upon mere allegations, general denials, or vague statements. Saldana v. Kmart Corp., 260 F.3d 228, 232 (3d Cir. 2001).

C. Analysis

1. Claims against SWSP and Macfarland in her ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.