Lawsuit over the release of state COVID data gets a November court date
State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith and the Florida Center for Government Accountability filed the lawsuit after the Department of Health rebuffed requests for daily information about COVID.
A Leon County circuit judge has scheduled a two-day hearing next month in a lawsuit alleging the Florida Department of Health has violated public records laws by refusing to provide detailed data about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Judge John Cooper issued an order this week scheduling the hearing Nov. 9-10.
State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, and the Florida Center for Government Accountability filed the lawsuit in August after the Department of Health rebuffed requests for daily information about COVID-19 cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations, deaths and vaccinations.
Several major news organizations joined the lawsuit to back Smith and the nonprofit Florida Center for Government Accountability.
The Department of Health has argued that Cooper should reject the lawsuit, contending that requested reports don’t exist and that underlying data is confidential.
Cooper had scheduled a hearing in late September, but it was postponed because a lead attorney for the plaintiffs had a death in her family.