University of Kentucky Lawsuit Over Pediatric Mortality Rates Now Resolved

Aug 17, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The protracted legal dispute between the University of Kentucky and former WUKY reporter Brenna Angel over mortality rates of UK Healthcare’s pediatric cardiothoracic surgery department has been resolved.

Angel, now deputy communications director for Lexington Mayor Jim Gray’s office, had filed an open records request for mortality rates and other information about the program.  UK refused to comply with the request, citing patient privacy concerns.  Angel appealed to the state attorney general’s office and received a favorable ruling in the matter.

UK responded by suing Angel.  Following months of legal wrangling, the university recently released the mortality rates of the program from 2008 to 2012.

According to the data the program averaged 5.8 percent from 2008 through 2012, with 4.5 in 2008 being the lowest and 7.1 last year the highest. 

On Friday Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael Jr. dismissed the case against Angel and set aside the attorney general’s open records decision.

According to the Lexington Herald Leader both UK and Angel consider the matter closed.

The case drew national interest recently via a report on CNN and an online petition campaign by some of the affected families.