Askew v. R & L Transfer, Inc. et al

Filing 65

OPINION AND ORDER denying defendant R & L Transfer, Inc.'s 48 MOTION for entry of Protective Order, as further set out in order. Signed by Honorable Myron H. Thompson on 12/17/09. (Attachments: # 1 civil appeals checklist)(djy, )

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IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, EASTERN DIVISION LUCILE ASKEW, Individually ) and as Administratrix of ) the Estate of Linzie Askew, ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) v. ) ) R & L TRANSFER, INC., and ) KENNETH LEE HOLT, an ) Individual, ) ) Defendants. ) CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:08cv865-MHT (WO) OPINION AND ORDER Plaintiff Lucile Askew, personal representative for the estate of her deceased husband, brings this suit against defendants Kenneth Holt and R & L Transfer, Inc. for the wrongful death of her husband. Plaintiff's husband was killed when a tractor trailer, allegedly owned by R & L Transfer and driven by Holt, collided with his vehicle in Chambers with County, Alabama. Plaintiff claims charges defendants multiple state-law asserting negligence and wantonness. This court has jurisdiction citizenship). under 28 U.S.C. 1332 (diversity of This case is currently before the court on R & L Transfer's motion for entry of protective order. For the reasons that follow, this motion will be denied. In resolving a pending summary-judgment motion, the court requested that R & L Transfer file information explaining affiliates. its corporate structure and that of its The company complied with this request, but asks that the court issue a protective order to shield this information from being made available to the public. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1)(G) states that "The court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including ... requiring that a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information not be revealed or be revealed only in a specified way." "Before entering any protective order, the Court must find that good cause warrants the entry of the order with respect to each 2 category of documents or information sought to be included in the order." In re Alexander Grant & Co. Litigation, 820 F.2d 352, 355-57 (11th Cir. 1987). R & L Transfer has not shown good cause to warrant entry of the protective order. structure commercial of R & L Transfer the While the corporate may be confidential of this information, disclosure information must "likely . . . result in a clearly defined and very serious injury" to warrant protection. Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Boeing Co., 2005 WL 5278461, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Grant 2005) & Co. (Spaulding, Litigation, M.J.); 820 see F.2d In at re 356 Alexander ("ascertaining the existence of good cause" generally includes likelihood an of inquiry the into "`the harm severity ....'") and the perceived (citation omitted); see also 8 C. Wright, A. Miller & R. Marcus, Federal Practice and Procedure 2043, at 556-57 (2d ed. 1994) ("Besides showing that the information qualifies for protection, the moving party must also show good 3 cause for restricting dissemination on the ground that it would be harmed by its disclosure."). While R & L Transfer asserts that it wants to prevent this information from being "used or disclosed outside the litigation" and fears that the "information might be misused," defendant's brief (doc. no. 51) at 4-5, it has offered no evidence that specific or actual harm would result from the dissemination of its corporate structure to the public. Indeed, the company itself offers information about its corporate structure on its public website. The website explains and that that The R R the & & company L L is family-owned controls and operated Carriers Family, Gator Freightways. (last visited Dec. 7, 2009). R & L Transfer has failed to offer a sufficient showing of "good cause" for a protective order for this evidence, as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 26 (c)(1)(G). *** 4 For the foregoing reasons, it is ORDERED that defendant R & L Transfer, Inc.'s motion for entry of protective order (Doc. No. 48) is denied. DONE, this the 17th day of December, 2009. /s/ Myron H. Thompson UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

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