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Woofter v. Logan County Hospital

United States District Court, D. Kansas, Kansas City

February 3, 2017

CARL WOOFTER and LEE WOOFTER, Plaintiffs,
v.
LOGAN COUNTY HOSPITAL and MELDON SNOW, Defendants.

          Lawrence J. Lennemann, #23896 Counsel for: Plaintiffs

          Justin M. Dean, #19636 Counsel for: Defendants

          Phillip M. Murphy, II, #23770 Counsel for: Plaintiffs

          Daniel P. Johnson, #78654 Counsel for: Defendants

          PROTECTIVE ORDER

          James P. O'Hara U.S. Magistrate Judge.

         The parties agree that during the course of discovery in Carl Woofter and Lee Woofter v. Logan County Hospital and Meldon Snow; Case No. 2:16-cv-02726 (“Action”) it may be necessary to disclose certain confidential information relating to the subject matter of this action. The parties agree that certain categories of such information should be treated as confidential, protected from disclosure outside this litigation, and used only for purposes of prosecuting or defending this action and any appeals. The parties jointly request entry of this proposed Protective Order to limit the disclosure, dissemination, and use of certain identified categories of confidential information.

         Plaintiffs' Complaint presently alleges as follows: Count 1 for Retaliation and Wrongful Termination in Violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act by Carl Woofter against all Defendants; Count 2 for Retaliatory Discharge in Violation of Public Policy by Carl Woofter against all Defendants; Count 3 for Breach of Written Employment Contract by Carl Woofter against Defendant Logan County Hospital; Count 4 for Breach of Implied Contract by Carl Woofter against Defendant Logan County Hospital; Count 5 for Retaliation and Wrongful Termination in Violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act by Lee Woofter against all Defendants; Count 6 for Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Relations by Carl and Lee Woofter against all Defendants; Count 7 for Negligent Interference with Prospective Economic Relations by Carl and Lee Woofter against all Defendants; and Count 8 for Breach of Kansas Wage Payment Act by Carl Woofter against all Defendants. Defendants deny liability under all of Plaintiffs' theories.

         The parties will engage in discovery in the Action which will require the production of documents, the inspection of tangible things, the answering of interrogatories and requests to admit, and the taking of depositions.

         In the course of discovery, medical, financial, employment, operational and/or other confidential information is likely to be produced by the parties or other persons or entities. Plaintiffs and Defendants are interested in permitting discovery to proceed without delay occasioned by possible disputes about the confidential nature of the documents and/or information being produced. For good cause shown under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c), the court grants the parties' joint request, and hereby enters the following Protective Order:

         1. Scope.

         All documents and materials produced in the course of discovery of this Action, including initial disclosures, responses to discovery requests, all deposition testimony and exhibits, and information derived directly therefrom (hereinafter collectively “documents”), may be subject to this Order concerning Confidential Information as set forth below. As there is a presumption in favor of open and public judicial proceedings in the federal courts, this Order will be strictly construed in favor of public disclosure and open proceedings wherever possible.

         2. Definition of Confidential Information.

         As used in this Order, “Confidential Information” is defined as information that the producing party designates in good faith has been previously maintained in a confidential manner and should be protected from disclosure and use outside the litigation because its disclosure and use is restricted by statute or could potentially cause harm to the interests of disclosing party or nonparties. For purposes of this Order, the parties will limit their designation of “Confidential Information” to the following categories of information or documents of a party or third party:

A. Medical information;
B. Financial information including, but not necessarily limited to bank records, financial statements, and tax returns;
C. Education records;
D. Employment information;
E. Proprietary information and/or trade secrets;
F. Records, documents, and information whose disclosure is restricted or prohibited by regulation, statute, or case law; and
G. Other confidential information of a party or third party previously maintained in a confidential manner.

         Information or documents that are available to the public may not be designated as Confidential Information.

         3. Form and Timing of Designation.

         The producing party may designate documents as containing Confidential Information and therefore subject to protection under this Order by marking or placing the words “CONFIDENTIAL - SUBJECT TO PROTECTIVE ORDER” (hereinafter “the marking”) on the document and on all copies in a manner that will not interfere with the legibility of the document. As used in this Order, “copies” includes electronic images, duplicates, extracts, summaries or descriptions that contain the Confidential Information. The marking will be applied prior to or at the time the documents are produced or disclosed. Applying the marking to a document does not mean that the document has any status or protection by statute or otherwise except to the extent and for the purposes of this Order. Copies that are made of any designated documents must also bear the marking, except that indices, electronic databases, or lists of documents that do not contain substantial portions or images of the text of marked documents and do not otherwise disclose the substance of the Confidential Information are not required to be marked. By marking a designated document as confidential, the designating attorney or party appearing pro se thereby certifies that the document contains Confidential Information as defined in this Order.

         4.Inadvertent Failure to Designate.

         Inadvertent failure to designate any document or material as containing Confidential Information will not constitute a waiver of an otherwise valid claim of confidentiality pursuant to this Order, so long as a claim of confidentiality is asserted within 7 days after reasonable discovery of the inadvertent failure. If a document falls within any of the categories set forth in Paragraph 2 herein but is not otherwise marked “confidential” by the producing party, it shall be deemed by the parties to be confidential.

         5. ...


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