"After eight long years of waiting for OHSU to do the right thing and share these records, the public will finally be able to get a glimpse of how OHSU has been mistreating monkeys in their publicly funded research labs," according to Matt Rossell, Northwest Outreach Coordinator for IDA and a former primate technician at OHSU. "During my tenure at OHSU, I witnessed frequent mistakes, such as the wrong monkeys being bled and injected, and social primates housed alone in cramped cages, so it's no surprise OHSU is so desperate to keep the documents hidden from the public."
David Bahr, an attorney specializing in public records litigation, filed suit on behalf of IDA in July, 2001 to force OHSU to abide by the state law that mandates the disclosure of certain documents at publicly funded facilities like the Oregon Primate Center. OHSU sought $151,250 for copies of the daily health records, heath histories and behavior records for monkeys kept at the Center. IDA prevailed before the Oregon Court of Appeals in April of 2005, which ruled the University's fees were too high and not supported by OHSU's evidence. The case was then remanded to Multnomah County Circuit Court for determination of what, if any, amount of fees would be appropriate to charge IDA.
"The terms of this settlement provide closure to a case that never should have been necessary. Had OHSU been willing to do in 1998 what it has agreed to today, years of litigation could have been avoided," said Bahr. "This represents a victory not just for IDA but for anyone who believes activities funded by tax-dollars should not be shielded from public oversight."