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 Jeannette Burmeister in response to her FOIA request regarding HHS’s contract with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) for the study of diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS.
The IOM contract was entered into with secrecy and amazing speed for a government action, despite patient, physician and researcher protest. These stakeholders are entitled to know what happened. Burmeister attempted to find out via an information request from the government, but didn't receive adequate information. In January 2014, she sued the government for this violation of her rights.
Now with this decision, the court agrees that Burmeister's rights were violated and that the government has to provide the information requested within 60 days.
Burmeister believes that holding HHS and NIH legally responsible for their violation of federal law is a tremendous victory for the ME/CFS patient population.
You can read Jeannette Burmeister's original blog post here: http://thoughtsaboutme.com/2014/09/03/us-district-court-hhsnih-violated-federal-law-in-response-to-foia-request-for-iom-documents/