Seattle Children's loses legal fight in effort to keep mold outbreak records from public

A court denied Seattle Children's Hospital's request to overturn a decision that requires the hospital to turn over public health records concerning mold infections to local reporters, according to The Center Square.

Since 2005, Seattle Children's Hospital has faced sporadic mold outbreaks, with seven patient deaths tied to mold infections at the facility. In August 2019, a King 5 News reporter filed a records request to King County Public Health regarding the mold infections. KCPH said 4,700 pages of relevant records could be released to King 5 News without redactions.

Seattle Children's objected, arguing that the records contained confidential patient information protected under HIPAA.  

In February 2019, the Washington Department of Health said it would release more than 800 pages of medical records subject to redaction for only identifiable patient healthcare information. Seattle Children's filed a preliminary injunction Feb. 14, 2020, to block the release of any remaining medical records.  

On Dec. 29, 2020, the Washington Division I Court of Appeals rejected Seattle Children's request to overturn a judge's March 23 decision ordering the release of 847 pages of records related to mold infections.

The lawsuit will be sent back to trial court to ensure the requested medical records comply with patient privacy laws.

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