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Afful v. Priddle

United States District Court, D. Kansas

November 4, 2019

DORCAS AFFUL, Plaintiff,
v.
STEVEN A. PRIDDLE, M.D., DIANE F. WENDELKEN, A.P.R.N., REBEKA WEBER, M.D. and WOMEN'S HEALTH GROUP, P.A., Defendants.

          SHAMBERG, JOHNSON & BERGMAN, CHARTERED David R. Morantz, ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF

          LOGAN, LOGAN & WATSON, L.C Jeff K. Brown, ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANTS

          AGREED PROTECTIVE ORDER

          JAMES P. O'HARA U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         The parties agree during the course of discovery it may be necessary to disclose certain confidential information relating to the subject matter of this action. They agree 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 a 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 this matter involves a plaintiff whose medical records and personal information should be protected from public disclosure. This medical negligence action is brought by the plaintiff and relates to claimed injuries suffered during plaintiff's labor and delivery process. (See ECF No. 1) Because of the type of the claims being made and the nature of the alleged injuries, certain documents are relevant and discoverable, but should be maintained confidential in this litigation because of either their sensitive/personal nature and/or the need for proprietary business reasons. The matter also involves potential personal information and proprietary business information involving the defendants which should similarly be protected from public disclosure.

         For good cause shown under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c), the court grants the parties' Amended Agreed Motion for Protective Order (ECF No. 15) 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 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 are restricted by statute or could potentially cause harm to the interests of the 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:

a) All medical records and bills of Dorcas Afful;
b) All social security numbers, dates of birth, drivers' license numbers, and contact information of the parties to this lawsuit;
c) All insurance and social security records of the parties;
d) All financial and/or tax records of the parties;
e) All documents obtained by any party using an authorization provided by any other party; and
f) All documents concerning any of the parties in any way relating to the topics/categories addressed in subsections a-e, above, obtained by any party via subpoena.
g) All documents and photographs produced by any party in response to discovery requests and labeled as “Confidential”.

         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 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 ...


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