OLYMPIA, Washington: The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that accident reports compiled by law enforcement officers and maintained in state databases are public records that must legally be made available by request.  In the 7-2 ruling, the court said that the Washington State Patrol improperly withheld records from plaintiff Michael Gendler. Gendler, who was paralyzed in a 2007 bicycle accident on the Montlake Bridge, had requested location-specific accident records. When requesting the records, Gendler was asked to sign a document vowing that he would not use the records to sue the state. Gendler refused to sign the document. Gendler became a quadriplegic after his accident, in which his bicycle tire became stuck in a gap between steel panels on the bridge. Gendler, an attorney, sought out the accident history from the area when he learned that other bicyclists had been injured when their wheels were similarly jammed on the bridge. Gendler has been awarded an unspecified amount.