West Virginia Record

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Woman alleges WVDOT wrongfully denied request of documents

By Louie Torres | Oct 9, 2017

CHARLESTON – An estate administrator claims the West Virginia Department of Transportation Division of Highways wrongfully denied her records request.

Rebecca Lites, as administratrix of the estate of Payden Farnsworth, filed a complaint Sept. 11 in Kanawha Circuit Court against West Virginia Department of Transportation Division of Highways seeking injunctive relief under the Freedom of Information Act.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that she requested access on Feb. 16 to the defendant's investigation regarding all incidents that occurred at the intersection of Maine Avenue East and Sixth Street in Lewis County. The suit states an accident that involved the death of Farnsworth occurred in this area.

The plaintiff holds West Virginia Department of Transportation Division of Highways responsible because the defendant allegedly denied the request on March 13 on the grounds it was exempt from disclosure under the attorney work product and attorney/client privilege. She alleges this assertion is not applicable in her situation.

The plaintiff seeks order the defendant to provide all requested documents, to expedite the proceeding, court costs and any further relief the court grants. She is represented by Christopher J. Heavens of Heavens Law Firm PLLC in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Charles E. King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 17-C-1276

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