Appellate victory secured for Central Alabama Radiation Oncology in Open Records Act case

Central Alabama Radiation Oncology (CARO) learned that a local hospital system (the Authority) intended to open a competing radiation therapy facility nearby, which could have a negative impact on CARO's business. This prompted CARO to seek out information about the Authority's proposed plans, and because the Authority is a public entity, CARO submitted several records requests under the Alabama Open Records Act in order to access to records and documents regarding the Authority's development of a radiation oncology facility. The Authority responded that it was not obligated to comply with the Open Records Act and that it would not provide any information about its decision to open up a radiation oncology facility.

Represented by a team of lawyers from Waller's healthcare and trial and appellate litigation practices, CARO sued, seeking an injunction requiring the Authority to comply with the law and produce the records. The court granted the relief sought by CARO and entered an order to that effect, declaring as a matter of law that the Authority is a public entity and must produce the records through the Open Records Act.

This prompted the Authority to submit an emergency appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court, which ultimately adopted CARO's arguments and affirmed the Circuit Court's order, providing helpful certainty on the law of open records in Alabama.

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