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Monday, October 12, 2015

PAC Finds Lawsuit Interest More Important Than Privacy Rights of Victim's Family

In its 9th opinion of 2015, the PAC found IDOT in violation of FOIA for not turning over surveillance videos of a fatal accident. PAC Op. 15-009.  The requester (an attorney for the defendant in a case involving the accident) had filed a FOIA request for the videos. IDOT denied the request, citing that it would be an invasion of personal privacy of the victim's family to release the videos, and the victim could not consent to its release.
The PAC acknowledged that there is a long line of cases, including one decided by the U.S. Supreme Court , holding that family members have a protectable privacy interest in the disclosure of graphic details surrounding their relative's death. Nevertheless, the PAC rejected the reasoning set forth in these cases, instead finding that the victims family's right to privacy was not as important as the attorney's interest in obtaining the video recording of the area surrounding the victim's fatal traffic accident.
Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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