Shooting Victims’ Families: UA-Huntsville Record Requests Met With ‘Unreasonable Resistance’

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The families of two UA-Huntsville shooting victims say the university provost and the university are side-stepping requests for information associated with their civil lawsuits.

Amy Bishop Anderson was convicted of shooting six colleagues during a biology department meeting on campus in early 2010. Three people died as a result of the shooting.

The families of Dr. Adriel Johnson and Dr. Maria Ragland Davis are suing Amy Bishop Anderson, her husband James and university provost Dr. Vistasp Karbhari. UA-Huntsville, however, cannot be named in the lawsuit.

SCREEN GRAB

The victims’ families submitted a subpoena requesting documents from UA-Huntsville back in may 2011.

The requests include everything from emails to phone calls and security detail information–but the university claims there is a huge price tag associated with digging up these security records. Plaintiffs in the civil suit argue every request has been met with “unreasonable resistance”.

Shooting victims’ families subpoenaed all e-mail correspondence by and to Dr. Vistap Karbhari regarding Amy Bishop Anderson via university e-mail accounts. They also asked for security detail information for Dr. Karbhari and former university president David Williams. The university billed plaintiffs a little more than $2,000 for a portion of Karbhari’s emails but lawyers representing the Johnson and Davis families are seeking additional materials they say will prove university administrators had knowledge prior to the shootings that Bishop Anderson was a safety threat.

Attorneys representing Dr. Karbhari and the university responded saying the estimated cost to provide the documents would cost between $1 million and $6.8 million. The plaintiffs now claim the university is essentially holding this information ransom. The university claims they are willing to provide the requested records but that someone has to foot the bill.

The latest court motion requests a judge order Dr. Karbhari and UA-Huntsville to comply to requests in a “reasonable and cost-effective manner.” The court system has no record yet of any response from the defendants.

WHNT News 19 spoke by phone with Jay Ezelle, one of the attorneys representing Dr. Karbhari and the university Wednesday. Ezelle says “The university does not wish to publicly comment at this time. We will let these papers speak for themselves.”

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