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Civil Rights – Cruel and unusual punishment

Civil Rights – Cruel and unusual punishment

Where a prisoner alleged unhygienic jail conditions, his Eighth Amendment claim should not have been dismissed.

“To begin, we have held that Budd’s allegations of unhygienic conditions, when combined with the jail’s failure to provide detainees with a way to clean for themselves with running water or other supplies, state a claim for relief. See Vinning-El, 482 F.3d at 924-25 (reversing summary judgment where prisoner was held for six days without sanitation items in cell contaminated with human waste and in which sink and toilet did not work); Johnson v. Pelker, 891 F.2d 136, 139-40 (7th Cir. 1989) (reversing summary judgment where prisoner was denied cleaning supplies and confined for three days to cell that was smeared with human waste and lacked running water). Moreover, the harm that Budd alleges is not merely speculative; he asserts that three doctors told him that unsanitary conditions caused his infection. He also alleges that the jail conditions traumatized him. Budd’s exposure to psychological harm or a heightened risk of future injury from living in an infested jail is itself actionable. See Thomas v. Illinois, 697 F.3d 612, 615-16 (7th Cir. 2012) (admonishing district judges to treat psychological and probabilistic harm from infested prisons as seriously as realized physical harm).”

Affirmed in part, and Vacated in part.

11-3425 Budd v. Motley

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, McCuskey, J., Per Curiam.

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