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Bland v. Continua Home Health, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri.

November 14, 2017

WANDA RAGSDALE BLAND, Plaintiff,
v.
CONTINUA HOME HEALTH, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER PROTECTING CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS DURING DISCOVERY

          GREG KAYS, CHIEF 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 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 to protect the privacy interests of parties and non-parties to this action. Specifically, the parties anticipate document discovery that may reveal medical, employment, and financial information about the parties, as well as persons who have no interest in the outcome of this action. For good cause shown under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c), the court GRANTS the parties' joint motion (Doc. 12) 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 (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 this action because its disclosure and use is restricted by statute or could potentially cause harm to the interests of 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: medical records, personnel files, and proprietary business 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” (“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 or party appearing pro se 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 is asserted within thirty (30) days 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 period 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.

         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.

         (b) Who May View Designated Confidential Information.

         Except with the prior written consent of the designating party or prior order of the Court, designated Confidential Information may only be disclosed to the following persons:

(1) The parties to this litigation, including any employees, agents, and representatives of the parties;
(2) Counsel for the parties and employees and agents of counsel;
(3) The court and court personnel, including any special master appointed by the court, ...

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