Sometimes news organizations are digging for public records to aid in a larger exposé that can affect people’s lives in a very material way – like compensation for medical or repair expenses.
In New Orleans, the news station Fox 8 has filed suit against the city Sewerage & Water Board for public records neglect over records pertaining to personal injury and property damage settlements and judgments.
The judgments and settlements have been reached for accidents and damages caused by the agency (i.e. destruction to houses from construction projects or a personal injury from neglect).
Fox 8 reports that some settlements and judgments have been in the thousands of dollars, yet many plaintiff residents have not received any money.
This is where Fox 8 has stepped in, talking to residents whose lives were upended but have not received compensation as promised and asking the court to intervene when the agency seemed to be engaging in public records neglect by not providing access.
I represent news media, bloggers, publishers, and citizens interested in government access, and others who operate under the First Amendment—public records; public meetings; newsgathering; avoiding defamation lawsuits; suing Anti-SLAPP violators. My job is to help you get the records and access you need, help you get the story, help you get the story without getting arrested, help get the story published without defaming anyone, and then defend the story after publication.
If you need help with any of these areas and don’t have an attorney already, contact me: [email protected]. This post is not intended to be legal advice and does not form the basis of a lawyer-client relationship.