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Jeanette Burmeister vs HHS/NIH - HHS/NIH violated law

Discussion in 'Institute of Medicine (IOM) Government Contract' started by Nielk, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Nielk

    Nielk

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    "Yesterday, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that HHS and NIH (government) violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) when they improperly withheld documents from me in response to my FOIA request regarding HHS’s contract with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) for the study of diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS."

    "Accordingly, the Court granted my motion for summary judgment and ordered the government “to produce, within 60 days, all documents responsive to [my] request that are not covered by any exemption to FOIA’s disclosure requirements.” [emphasis added] The Court also denied the government’s motion for summary judgment asking for a dismissal of my lawsuit.

    "I believe that holding HHS and NIH legally responsible for their violation of federal law is a tremendous victory for our patient population. However, since this litigation is ongoing, I will not, at this time, be able to comment further or answer any questions beyond the following details and quotes from the Court’s ruling. Although there will hopefully be more good news before the case is over."

    More details on Jeanette Burmeister's blog

    http://thoughtsaboutme.com/2014/09/...n-response-to-foia-request-for-iom-documents/
     
    leela, beaker, taniaaust1 and 20 others like this.
  2. Nielk

    Nielk

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    HHS thought they can get away with withholding information requested via FOIA.


    They did not count on the force of Jeanette Burmeister!

    Now, not only are they forced to dish out the pertinent information but they had to finance this court proceedings with our tax monies. In addition, they will be liable for Jeanette"s legal costs for suing them.

    Is this just incompetence or a cover up?
     
    beaker, taniaaust1, Valentijn and 2 others like this.
  3. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Jeannette is a FORCE to be reckoned with. :thumbsup:
     
    Keela Too, leela, beaker and 4 others like this.
  4. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    Good for her!!! I just read some of her blog and very well written. This made my day.
     
    beaker, NK17 and Nielk like this.
  5. JAH

    JAH Senior Member

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    What a huge win, and sincere thanks to Jeannette and her team. At least one small victory from one part of the govt. to another, that instead of helping us. has thrown up one roadblock after another intent solely on keeping us in the dark

    Burmeister Wins Lawsuit: Court Rules Government Must Produce IOM Documents
    By Jeannette Burmeister • www.ProHealth.com • September 4, 2014
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2014
    Wildcat, Gingergrrl, catly and 3 others like this.
  6. JAH

    JAH Senior Member

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    Ps. Everybody should read this rare good story related to CFS, maybe a more dramatic headline, links from other articles, or best yet a front page article with an interview with Jeannette... Could copy the prohealth headline, or something short and sweet, like. Major Legal Victory For CFS
     
  7. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    This i think is a major victory. Is about time the goverments are forced to stop withholding info. (I wish the same thing would happen over the PACE trial and the info they hold)
     
    Valentijn likes this.
  8. Nielk

    Nielk

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    I can't wait to see what will be uncovered.
     
    Kati, Cheshire, catly and 1 other person like this.
  9. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

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    I'm probably already cast as a negative poster, I don't mean to be really I don't.
    But I have to say it may not be over yet. It's seems to me that the gov't can continue to behave badly by appealing the decision.
    It would (to me anyway) just more strongly convince me they have something to hide and I think it would generally be viewed that way but they might be silly enough to go there.
     
  10. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    Yeah, @Snowdrop, it seemed like a big red flag to me that they get 60 more days to hem and haw after this protracted delay.
    Why not require them to produce the documents in 48 hours?
     
  11. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    I'm not particularly familiar with FOI document production, but in legal cases in general it's a pretty intensive process. Lots of data to sort through, then possibly personal details and such to be removed. And files often getting transferred to other (read only) formats, then everything getting reviewed, double-checked, etc.

    60 days is probably reasonable, especially since Jeanette and the judge are expecting a lot of documents. An appeal during those 60 days wouldn't affect the deadline, unless they requested an injunction pending the outcome of the appeal. But they'd need a really good reason to get an injunction, which isn't at all likely when they have such a weak (non-existent) defense.
     
  12. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    except they had all year to do it....
     
  13. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

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    The way I picture it, they were taken all by surprise when initially served with the suit by JB. They must have figured that sending her those few least relevant docu.'s would make her go away. So after the verdict rendering I image they went into tribal war counsel mode and are even now plotting how to get out of this sticky mess they put themselves in while continuing to stonewall. Having been taken by surprise once (a gotten a black eye from the confrontation) they will be more proactive. The question is, do they want another black eye?
    I have a feeling that they think they are still above having to comply and that all will be well if they keep up the fight.
    Let's hope not.
    Whatever court would oversee an appeal I'm guessing they are looking to either see how they can orchestrate a win before even arriving at court or stonewall some more by leaking a few more possibly heavily redacted documents.

    This in no way takes away from the victory JB has secured from the court so far.
    Let's hope it really does end here (in 60 days). But it's best to be prepared.
    Jeanette B has shown that she (and by extension PWME) must be taken seriously.
    My thanks.
     
    RL_sparky, Valentijn and leela like this.
  14. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    "The U.S. District for the Northern District of California awarded me today–having won my FOIA lawsuit–my entire attorneys’ fees in the amount of $139,147. Judge Vince Chhabria ordered the defendants, HHS and NIH, to pay me these fees. Please see below for a copy of the order.

    In the Court’s order, the Judge noted:

    Ms. Burmeister is clearly the prevailing party in the litigation. Moreover, as outlined in the order granting Ms. Burmeister’s motion for summary judgment, the government’s conduct throughout its dispute with Ms. Burmeister was unreasonable. [emphasis added]

    For more:
    http://thoughtsaboutme.com/2014/11/...ys-fees-against-hhs-and-nih-in-iom-foia-case/
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
    Blue, Wildcat, Kati and 6 others like this.
  15. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    I'm so grateful to Jeannette for sticking with this, at great physical and other cost to herself, and for keeping us informed along the way.
    It's disgusting that these people are paid by the same taxpayers they abuse and deceive to perpetrate the abuse and deception.
    Reading through some of those released documents makes my stomach turn. How do grown adults treat each other so disrespectfully?
    How do these people justify being so contemptuous, especially in the context of pretending to act on our behalf?

    I am beyond over these kinds of shenanigans. I hope some journalists take this up and publish these antics for the general public to see.
     
    Kati and Valentijn like this.
  16. Nielk

    Nielk

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    HHS and NIH should be very ashamed of themselves. Not only did they withhold over 4,000 pages of documents but they gave Jeannette, a very sick patient, such a hard time that it put her in a major crash!!!

    Thank you to Jeannette and to all involved for this effort, perseverance, courage and determination. I ca't wait to see what these documents will reveal.
     
    Valentijn, Blue, Wildcat and 5 others like this.
  17. Jeannette Burmeister

    Jeannette Burmeister

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    Thanks guys!

    Any chance we can start a new thread for this historic event?

    Also, it would be great not to post the entire blog post here. As we now know, the gov't monitors us pretty closely. The more hits my blog gets, the more impact it will have. Posting the entire text here, skews the stats dramatically.

    Thank you,
    Jeannette
     
    Valentijn, mango, Blue and 10 others like this.
  18. Bob

    Bob

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