Highland Mining, WVU to argue FOIA case

Years after one of its researchers published studies linking mountaintop mining to cancer, birth defects and other illnesses, West Virginia University must defend its refusal to release thousands of documents pertaining to the studies a mining company requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

Highland Mining Co. vs. West Virginia University School of Medicine goes before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals March 4, one of five cases the court will hear at the WVU College of Law in Morgantown. It stems from a series of research articles published by Michael Hendryx, formerly professor and interim chair of WVU's Department of Health Policy, Management and Leadership in the School of Public Health from 2011-13 and director of the West Virginia Rural Health Research Center from 2008-13.

Hendryx, now a professor with the University of Indiana Bloomington, said he stands by his research and said the case “comes down to an important question of academic freedom.” Continue>>>