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Stewart v. Ford Motor Co.

United States District Court, D. Kansas

July 11, 2019

ROBERT STEWART, et al. Plaintiffs,
v.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY, Defendant.

          Sherry A. Rozell, admitted pro hac vice Steven E. Ward, KS #17066 Attorneys for Defendant Ford Motor Company MCAFEE & TAFT

          STIPULATED SHARING AND NON-SHARING PROTECTIVE ORDER

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

         Discovery in this action will likely include production of material and information that the producing party contends is confidential, proprietary, or private, and for which special protection from public disclosure and from use for any purpose other than prosecuting this litigation is warranted. Ford anticipates producing documents that include Confidential Information, including, but not limited to, the following proprietary, private, and commercially sensitive business information and trade secrets: (1) documents related to advanced research, (2) documents containing business or financial information, (3) documents containing engineering materials, such as Computer Aided Engineering (“CAE”) models, (3) design and/or manufacturing specifications and procedures, (4) communications with and process documents pertaining to Ford's suppliers and supplier relationships, and (5) customer information. Disclosure of this information could result in serious and immediate competitive and economic harm. Because information produced in this case may be shared with consulting and testifying experts, a private agreement between the parties will not suffice to protect the information in the categories listed above, and a court order is required.

         To expedite the flow of discovery material, facilitate the prompt resolution of confidentiality disputes, adequately protect confidential materials, and ensure that protection is afforded only to material so entitled, pursuant to the Court's authority under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) 26(c)(1), and with the consent of the parties, it is hereby ORDERED that:

         1. Documents or information to be produced or provided by Ford or any party in this litigation that contain confidential, commercially sensitive, private personal information and/or proprietary information may be designated as confidential by marking or placing the applicable notice “Subject to Non-Sharing Protective Order, ” “Subject to Protective Order, ” or “Confidential, ” or substantially similar language on media containing the documents, on the document itself, or on a copy of the document, in such a way that it does not obscure the text or other content of the document.

         2. As used in this Order, the terms “documents” or “information” mean all written material, electronic data, videotapes and all other tangible items, produced in whatever format (e.g., hard copy, electronic, digital, etc.) and on whatever media (e.g., hard copy, videotape, computer diskette, CD-ROM, DVD, by secure electronic transmission, hard drive or otherwise).

         3. Documents or information designated as “Subject to Non-Sharing Protective Order, ” “Subject to Protective Order, ” or “Confidential” or substantially similar language in accordance with the provisions of this Order (“Protected Documents” or “Protected Information”) shall only be used, shown or disclosed as provided in this Order. However, nothing in this Order shall limit a party's use or disclosure of his or her own information designated as a Protected Document or Protected Information.

         4. If a receiving party disagrees with the “Protected” designation of any document or information as confidential pursuant to this Order, the party will notify the producing party in a written letter and identify the challenged document(s) with specificity, including Bates-number(s) where available, and the specific grounds for the objection to the designation. If the parties are unable to resolve the issue of confidentiality regarding the challenged document(s), Ford will thereafter timely apply to the Court to set a hearing for the purpose of establishing that the challenged document(s) or information is/are confidential. Protected Documents will continue to be treated as such pending determination by the Court as to the confidential status 5. Protected Documents and any copies thereof shall be maintained confidential by the persons authorized to receive the documents pursuant to paragraph 6 and shall be used only for prosecuting, defending, or attempting to settle this litigation, or as permitted herein, and subject to the limitations set forth herein.

         6. Protected Documents shall be disclosed only to “Qualified Persons.” Qualified Persons are limited to:

a. Counsel of Record for the parties, and the parties;
b. Paralegals and staff employed by Counsel of Record and involved in the preparation and trial of this action;
c. A vendor hired by a party to host data and maintain a database of electronic data or perform other work related to the collection, review or production of documents in the case;
d. Experts and non-attorney consultants retained by the parties for the preparation and/or trial of this case, provided that no disclosure shall be made to any expert or consultant who is employed by a competitor of Ford; and
e. With respect to documents designated as “Sharing” or “Subject to Protective Order, ” attorneys representing Plaintiff(s) and the experts and non-attorney consultants retained by such attorneys, in other cases pending against Ford involving claims of defect because of allegedly defective handling and stability, roof structure, and/or glass and glazing in 1975-1991 Ford Econoline E-350 Super Wagon vehicles, and/or defective front outboard safety belt assemblies installed in 1986-1989 Ford Econoline E-350 Super Wagon vehicles and the second row outboard bench seat configuration safety belt assemblies ...

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