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Environment


Cuyahoga County judge says board of health documents are not protected
Law firm had asked for 5,000 pages on homes with children who had elevated lead levels in their blood; judge says they can be released, but with personal info removed
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
In The Region:
When a law firm asked the Cuyahoga County Board of Health for reports on children with elevated lead levels, a county judge said that was "protected health information." Now, an appeals court says the law firm should have been granted access to the documents. WKSU's Kabir Bhatia reports.
Cuyahoga County judge says board of health documents are not protected

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Nearly two years ago, Rocky River law firm Lipson-O'Shea asked for 5,000 pages of records on all homes in the county where a child was found to have elevated levels of lead in their blood. The board of health argued that the records contained children's names and Social Security numbers and could not be released. In reversing that, the appeals court cites an Ohio Supreme Court case, which says information such as a landlord’s name and address can be disclosed. But the children’s info has to be blacked out. The decision also says that releasing the info could help the board of health examine its track record on combatting lead-related hazards in the county. The case now goes back to the trial court.
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