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Termini v. Group 1 Automotive, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Kansas

June 18, 2019


          Lance Lowenstein Printed Name Counsel for Plaintiff

          J. Randall Coffey Printed Name Samantha J. Monsees Counsel for Defendants GROUP 1 AUTOMOTIVE, INC. AND GPI KS-SH, INC.


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

         The parties agree that during the course of discovery it may be necessary to disclose certain confidential information relating to the subject matter of this action. They 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.

         The parties assert, in support of their request, that protection of the identified categories of confidential information is necessary because Plaintiff, Salvatore Termini (“Plaintiff”), has alleged common law tort of workers' compensation against Defendants Group 1 Automotive and GPI KS-SH d/b/a Shawnee Mission Hyundai (“Defendants”). Given the nature of Plaintiff's claims, confidential personnel and employment records, confidential business records, and/or other proprietary information are likely to be sought by the parties. Disclosure of such information may violate the privacy of third parties and employees who have not authorized public disclosure of such information, and/or may include disclosure of confidential or proprietary information of the parties.

         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 case, including initial disclosures, responses to discovery requests, all deposition testimony and exhibits, and information derived directly therefrom (hereinafter collectively “documents”) are subject to this Protective 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 Protective Order will be strictly construed in favor of public disclosure and open proceedings wherever possible.

         2. Definition of Confidential Information.

         As used in this Protective 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 the disclosing party or nonparties.

         For purposes of this Protective Order, the parties will limit their designation of “Confidential Information” to the following categories of information or documents: (1) non-public confidential information relating to Defendants' business, financials, marketing, sales, policies and procedures; (2) personal, medical, and financial information regarding Plaintiff, Defendant, and/or third parties; (3) Defendants' personnel records, including the personnel file of Plaintiff and the personnel files of current and former employees of Defendants who are not, and are not expected to be, parties to this action; and (4) Defendants' confidential, proprietary information and trade secrets. Information or documents that are available to the public may not be designated as Confidential Information.

         By listing these particular categories of information, no party waives its right to object to the production of such information/documents or to designate other documents as confidential. The parties have the right to designate as “Confidential” any documents they believe, in good faith, include the information as described in the paragraph above.

         3. Form and Timing of Designation.

         The producing party may designate documents as containing Confidential Information, and therefore subject to protection under this Protective Order, by marking or placing the words “CONFIDENTIAL” and/or “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 Protective 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 Protective 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 the party appearing pro se, thereby certifies that the document contains Confidential Information as defined in this Protective 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 Protective Order, so long as a claim of confidentiality is asserted within a reasonable time after discovery of the inadvertent failure.

         5. Depositions.

         Deposition testimony will be deemed confidential only if designated as such when the deposition is taken or within a reasonable time after receipt of the deposition transcript. Such designation must be specific as to the portions of the transcript and/or any exhibits to be protected. There shall be no need to re-designate documents or exhibits which have been previously designated as Confidential Information.

         6. Protection of Confidential Material.

         (a) General Protections.

         Designated Confidential Information must be used or disclosed solely for purposes of prosecuting or defending this lawsuit, including any appeals arising therefrom.

         (b) Who May View Designated ...

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