Courier-Journal v. Cabinet for Health & Family Services, Franklin Circuit Court (2010)

The Cabinet had a policy of denying all requests for information relating to the deaths of children in its custody. The Cabinet denied an open records request for records relating to the death of Kayden Branham, a 1-yr-old under the Cabinet’s supervision who died after drinking drain cleaner in a meth lab when he had been placed with family elsewhere by the Cabinet. The Attorney General upheld the Cabinet’s denial. The Courier-Journal sued the Cabinet in Franklin Circuit Court, and the court overturned the Attorney General’s decision and awarded costs and attorneys’ fees to the Courier-Journal. The court held that federal and state law require the Cabinet to make publicly available records relating to fatalities or near fatalities of children under its supervision.