Jeannette Burmeister was awarded, in summary judgment, attorneys’ fees in her suit against HHS and NIH for failing to follow the government’s FOIA law. Unfortunately, it has cost her quite a blow to her health. Jeannette, you have the heartfelt congratulations and thanks of all M.E. sufferers and their advocates.
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. Ms. Burmeister stood to gain nothing financially from her attempt to obtain documents at issue from the government, and she conferred a benefit on the public through her successful effort to obtain a ruling against the government. [emphasis added]
The defendants’ conduct in this matter has been absolutely deplorable. They have fought tooth and nail trying to avoid compliance with federal law and to…
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