Responding to the Freedom Industries chemical spill
Yesterday, Judge Copenhaver issued an order in the ongoing dispute over the confidentiality of certain documents in the federal court case “Good vs. West Virginia American Water.” The Gazette has the story:
The judge said if the parties could not come to an agreement to release the records, the defendants in the case — West Virginia American Water Co. and Eastman Chemical Co. — would have until Friday to file a response to a legal filing in which the residents’ lawyers said they favored making the records public.
Copenhaver said that the defendants should be “mindful of the restrictions on the sealing of public documents filed with the court and the well-settled rules governing public access.” Generally, court records are to be open to the public unless there is a compelling reason for them to be sealed.
Any interested parties may submit comments to the court about the status of the records by July 17, the judge said. The judge said that if no agreement is reached between the parties, issues about sealing the documents would be discussed at a status conference, scheduled to take place in open court at 9:30 a.m. on July 20.
The status hearing in the case – which is open to the public – will be at the federal courthouse, 300 Virginia Street, East, Suite 2400 in Charleston next Monday at 9:30. Location information including details regarding cell phone and camera use is available on the Court website.