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Lorhan v. American Strategic Insurance Corp.

United States District Court, D. Kansas, Topeka Division

December 6, 2019

DANIEL S. LORHAN Plaintiff,
v.
AMERICAN STRATEGIC INSURANCE CORP, and LITITZ MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants.

          Jonathan R. Clayton Counsel for Plaintiff

          Heather R. Hatley Counsel 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 it is anticipated that during the course of document production, material will be produced containing, by way of example: personal identifying information of both parties and non-parties; sensitive or proprietary business information including claims handling procedures and trade secrets; and financial information of parties and non-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 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) Attorney-client communications or work product related to the underlying claims;
b) Attorney-client communications or work product related to any other claim or lawsuit, if ordered to be produced;
c) Proprietary and/or trade secret computer programs, systems, applications or other technology used by ASI or Lititz in handling claims, including but not limited to any related programs or application;
d) Proprietary, confidential, and/or trade secret records, policies, files, information and/or processes of ASI or Lititz which it has implemented or utilizes to price products and/or develop insurance policies;
e) Proprietary, confidential, and/or trade secret policies, documents, and/or processes of ASI or Lititz which it has implemented or utilizes to adjust, evaluate, settle and/or defend claims brought against the company or its insureds;
f) Proprietary, trade secret, or other information, records, files, and/or processes of ASI or Lititz that it uses to investigate or handle claims or conduct any business activity which is relevant to this action;
g) ASI or Lititz claim notes that pertain to proprietary, confidential, and/or trade secret policies, documents, and/or processes of ASI or Lititz with regard to any claim in which discovery is agreed or ordered by the Court;
h) Tax records;
i) Personnel records;
j) Financial statements and records;

         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 ...


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