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Gericke v. Truman Medical Center, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division

October 18, 2016

TERA GERICKE, Plaintiff,
v.
TRUMAN MEDICAL CENTER, INC., Defendant.

          STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER

          GREG KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE

         At the parties' request, the Court enters the following protective order.

         This action asserts claims under Missouri common law. Given the nature of this action, the parties are likely to propound and may receive discovery requests, and solicit and receive testimony, seeking the disclosure of confidential and proprietary information about: (1) Defendant Truman Medical Center, Inc.'s current or former employees (personnel records, compensation and pay information); (2) Personnel and operational policies, proprietary documents, documents or information pertaining to customers and/or patients, costs or charges, or other financial documents; (3) Personnel documents (other than Plaintiff's) containing information protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”); and/or (4) documents containing medical information regarding the Plaintiff protected by HIPAA.

         Disclosure of such information may violate the privacy of third parties or employees who have not authorized public disclosure of such information and/or may include disclosure of proprietary information. Accordingly, upon consideration of the parties' jointly submitted Stipulated Protective Order concerning the foregoing described categories of information and documents, and it appearing to the Court that sufficient cause exists for the issuance of a Protective Order, it is ORDERED:

         1. Any information (whether in the form of documents, interrogatory responses, deposition testimony, or other form) produced or exchanged by any of the parties to this action, or any of their attorneys, which a party believes in good faith is of a confidential nature, specifically including but not limited to: (1) Defendant Truman Medical Center Inc.'s current or former employees (personnel records, compensation and pay information); (2) Personnel and operational policies, proprietary documents, documents or information pertaining to customers and/or patients, costs or charges, or other financial documents; (3) Personnel documents (other than Plaintiff's) containing information protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”); and/or (4) documents containing medical information regarding the Plaintiff protected by HIPAA (hereinafter referred to collectively as “Confidential Information”) shall be treated as confidential and shall not be disclosed excepted as provided in this Order; PROVIDED, however, that counsel for the party designating any information as confidential may, in writing and without Court approval, agree to release any of the Confidential Information from the requirements of this Order.

         2. A party may designate documents as Confidential Information by marking each page of such material with the legend "Confidential" as appropriate, or the party may designate information as confidential and subject to this Protective Order by stating in response to a discovery request that the information contained in the written discovery response is confidential and subject to this Protective Order. The “Confidential” designation on documents will be placed where it does not deface, obscure, or cause the document to be difficult to read or understand. Wherever it appears that Confidential Information may be revealed in a deposition taken after the date of this Order, a party may provisionally designate the material on the record at the time of its disclosure as “Confidential” and may move the Court to have the particular portion of the record covered by the Order and filed under seal; PROVIDED, however, that such a provisional designation will under no circumstances serve as a privilege or justification for limiting the topics and scope of the deposition, ending the deposition, delaying the deposition, or inhibiting counsel's questioning of the deponent. The parties will follow the Court's administrative procedures for electronically filing sealed documents in civil cases. Alternatively, with respect to Confidential Information in deposition testimony, any party may designate portions of the testimony as “Confidential” by notifying all counsel in writing of the page(s) and line(s) of such testimony within thirty (30) days of receipt of a copy of a transcript, or such other time period as mutually agreed upon by the parties.

         3. Confidential Information produced by or obtained from any other party in the course of this action, through discovery or otherwise, shall be used by the party to whom such information is produced solely for the purpose of this litigation and for no other purpose, and it shall not otherwise be disclosed to anyone or used otherwise except as expressly provided in paragraphs 4 and 5 below. Confidential Information may be used, consistently with the terms of this Order and subject only to the limitations stated in this Order, in pretrial discovery and at the trial or preparation for trial and any appeals of this action.

         4. Neither the Confidential Information nor its contents shall be disclosed to any person without the agreement of the party designating the information as confidential, PROVIDED that counsel may, without further agreement or Court order, disclose Confidential Information or its contents to the following persons for use solely in connection with this action:

a. The named parties to this action, all of whom have agreed to be bound and are bound by the terms of this Order, including the corporate representatives of Truman Medical Center, Inc. (including any of its respective former and/or current officers, directors, employees, or agents);
b. Attorneys and legal assistants of counsel's firm and to any other employees of counsel's firm who shall handle the Confidential Information under normal office procedures;
c. Experts or consultants retained by the parties in this action;
d. Any person who is an officer, director or employee of any reproduction or litigation document handling service whom counsel specifically authorizes to work on this case;
e. Any person from whom testimony is being taken, has been taken or is reasonably expected to be taken in this action (whether in deposition or at trial), at a reasonable time ...

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