The Kentucky Court of Appeals has ordered the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services to pay $20,000 to two newspapers, in a fight over child abuse records. The appeals court ruled Friday that Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd correctly ordered the state to cover the legal fees for the Courier-Journal and Lexington Herald-Leader in October of 2010.
The case involved Kayden Daniels, who was under the supervision of Kentucky's child-protection agency when he died in 2009. Kayden drank drain cleaner at a mobile home in Wayne County where he stayed with his mother in a home where methamphetamine had allegedly been made. The youngster's death helped to draw attention to the dangers youngsters can face in homes where that illegal drug is produced.
The newspapers sued after being denied access to the files in the case. The appeals panel sent the case back to Shepherd to consider covering the newspapers' appeal costs.