Ragan v. Mecklenburg EMS Agency
CONSENT PROTECTIVE ORDER. Signed by Magistrate Judge David Keesler on 1/9/18. (mga)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTERICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:17-CV-489-RJC-DCK
CONSENT PROTECTIVE ORDER
MECKLENBURG EMS AGENCY d/b/a
This lawsuit involves claims by Tara Ragan (hereinafter "Plaintiff' or "Ragan") for
discrimination and retaliation under Title VII on the basis of sex and also wrongful discharge in
violation of North Carolina public policy against Defendant Mecklenburg EMS Agency d/b/a
Medic (hereafter “Medic” or “Defendant”). Defendant has denied any liability to Plaintiff and has
asserted a number of defenses.
The parties anticipate that certain information relevant to the Plaintiff’s claims and
Defendant’s defenses in this lawsuit is confidential, sensitive, and/or proprietary personnel and/or
business information that should be protected pursuant to a Court Order. For this reason, the
parties desire to ensure that certain information provided, released, exchanged, or reviewed during
discovery is not used or disclosed improperly and to ensure that confidential, sensitive and
proprietary information is sufficiently protected. Because of these concerns, the parties agree to
the following provisions regarding the discovery of information, documents, items, and other
materials during the discovery of this lawsuit and continuing through trial.
Pursuant to Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and upon agreement of
counsel, and deeming it just and proper to do so, the Court enters the following ORDER:
This Order governs the handling and disclosure of all materials produced, given or
filed herein by the parties and designated as "CONFIDENTIAL."
Any party producing documents, material or other information (collectively
"Information") in this litigation which that party reasonably believes is confidential, sensitive
and/or proprietary and the public disclosure of which would be harmful to that party, may designate
such Information, or any part thereof, as confidential (hereinafter "Confidential Information").
Any discovery material designated Confidential Information shall be clearly marked by the
producing party with the word "CONFIDENTIAL" on each page or object so designated.
"Confidential Information" as used herein includes, but is not necessarily limited
All information produced regarding Plaintiff or any other current or former
employee of either party, including, but not limited to, information regarding investigations,
complaints and discipline related to any such employee(s), any medical information relating to
such employee(s), information containing social security numbers, dates of birth, banking
information or similar sensitive information of such employee(s), records of such employee(s)'
payroll, overtime, wages, or hours worked and any other sensitive information regarding the
All proprietary, financial or other sensitive information, which is not generally
accessible to the public, is entitled to an expectation of privacy, and is otherwise treated by a party
Any documents, records or information which relate to any medical treatment of
Any other information the parties deem "Confidential Information" as discovery
progresses in this matter.
Should a party object to the designation of any material as "Confidential
Information," that party may apply to the Court for a ruling on the propriety or legitimacy of the
designation. Until the Court enters an Order, if any, changing the designation of the material, it
shall be treated as Confidential Information as provided in this Order.
Except upon further Order of the Court, Confidential Information shall not be
reviewed, disclosed or released to anyone other than:
The Court, including Court assistants, staff and other Court personnel;
Counsel for the parties to this action, including corporate counsel, their legal
assistants, paralegals and other law firm staff members and employees;
Consultants or experts retained by the parties or their counsel to assist them in the
preparation of this case;
The parties to this action and officers, directors, administrators or employees of the
parties who are actively participating in the prosecution or defense of this action;
Court reporters or videographers engaged to record depositions, hearings or trials
in this action; and
Outside companies engaged by counsel for the parties to photocopy such
To further limit disclosure of medical documents, records or medical information
("medical information") involving Plaintiff, such medical information, to the extent that counsel
for Defendant determines that it needs to be disclosed to Defendant, shall be provided only to
Defendant’s counsel and experts, except to the extent that Plaintiff’s counselor consents to further
disclosure. This provision does not affect the disclosure of such Confidential medical information
to the individuals listed in paragraph 5(a), (b), (c), (e) or (f).
If any Confidential Information is provided inadvertently to a discovering party
without being marked as Confidential in accordance with the terms of this Order, the failure to so
mark the Information shall not be deemed a waiver of the right to assert confidentiality. A party
may designate the Information as Confidential Information at a later date as soon as the failure to
designate is discovered, at which time the provisions of this Order shall apply prospectively to
The restriction set forth in the preceding paragraphs shall not apply to Information
is or becomes disclosed to the public other than through violation of this Consent
Protective Order, provided, however, that Confidential Information shall not lose its Confidential
status by reason of its use or disclosure in any proceeding in this litigation;
was lawfully possessed by the non-producing party before discovery in this action;
is subject to mandatory disclosure pursuant to the North Carolina Public Records
statute, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 132-1 et seq., as amended, and/or the Freedom of Information Act
(“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. § 552, et seq., as amended.
If a party desires to disclose any Confidential Information to any person not
described in paragraph 5 of this Order, counsel for the Disclosing Party shall inform in writing
counsel for the Designating Party at least ten (10) days in advance of such disclosure (or such other
time as agreed by the parties in writing) of the intent so to disclose, including a general description
of the materials to be disclosed, the designation given to such material, and the name and address
of the person to whom the disclosure is to be made. If the Designating Party gives notice of
objection to such disclosure within the prescribed ten (10) day period, such objection must be
resolved by the Court before the disclosure may be made. In the event of any such objection, the
Disclosing Party shall bear the burden of moving for resolution of the dispute by the Court in
accordance with the procedure set forth in paragraph I of this Order.
Disclosure of Confidential Information pursuant to this Order shall be handled as
Any person described in subparagraphs 5(a), (b), (d), (e) and (f) of this Order is
bound by the provisions of this Order without the necessity of executing a separate confidentiality
Prior to making disclosures to any person set forth in subparagraph 5(c) of this
Order, the party disclosing the Confidential Information shall inform any persons to whom
disclosure is made that Confidential Information shall be used for the purposes of the prosecution
or defense of this action only, and that said person shall be bound by the terms of this Order and
shall execute an Agreement to be bound by the this Order. The parties shall obtain from such
persons a written statement in the form of Exhibit A, attached hereto. A record of all persons to
whom disclosures are made shall be kept and all the written statements signed by those persons
shall be retained in the possession, custody, and control of counsel by whom the person is retained.
All Confidential Information, and any documents containing such Confidential Information,
including copies of such documents, shall be returned to counsel by persons given access to them
as soon as practicable.
The production or disclosure of Confidential Information pursuant to the terms of
this Order by the producing party shall not be construed as prohibiting or restricting the use of
Confidential Information during depositions, any hearing, the trial of this matter, or any appellate
proceeding. Similarly, no party shall be deemed to have waived any objections as to the relevancy,
admissibility, discoverability or any other objection under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or
the Federal Rules of Evidence in connection with any proceeding in this action. Additionally,
nothing in this Protective Order shall require disclosure of material which is protected by the
attorney-client privilege and/or the work product doctrine.
If any confidential documents are used in connection with a deposition or other
discovery or documents filed with the Court, or are quoted or referenced in any memorandum,
pleading or other paper filed with the Court, the applicable portions of the deposition transcript,
filing or paper shall be submitted to the Court with a request that the document be placed under
seal and appropriately marked to indicate that the transcript, filing or paper is subject to the terms
of this Order.
No Confidential Information produced pursuant to this Order shall be used for any
purpose other than for relevant and proper prosecution or defense of this litigation.
The inadvertent, unintentional or in camera disclosure of Confidential documents
and Information shall not, under any circumstances, be deemed a waiver, in whole or in part, of
any party's claims of confidentiality.
With the exception of materials, information and documents maintained in sealed
records of the Court in accordance with paragraph 12 above, within fifteen (15) days after entry of
final judgment or dismissal in this litigation (including appeals or petitions for review), the parties,
parties' counsel, their staff, and all experts and/or consultants for the parties shall return (or, with
consent of the opposing counsel, destroy) all confidential documents produced pursuant to this
Order (including all Xeroxed copies of the same) to the party producing said documents with a
written certification by the party's counsel of record that all such documents and copies of the same
have, in fact, been returned (or, with opposing counsel’s consent, destroyed); provided, however,
that counsel shall be permitted to maintain one copy of each such document for their case files,
which shall continue to be subject to the terms of this Order.
This Protective Order shall not prevent either party from applying to the Court for
relief herefrom, or from applying to the Court for further and additional Protective Orders, or from
agreeing between themselves to modification of this Protective Order, subject to the approval of
Each person who receives Confidential Information submits himself or herself to
the personal jurisdiction of this Court, wherever he or she shall be, for the enforcement of the
provisions contained in this Order.
Signed: January 9, 2018
WE SO CONSENT:
/s/Margaret Behringer Maloney
Margaret Behringer Maloney
N.C. State Bar No. 13253
1824 E. Seventh Street
Charlotte, NC 28201
Telephone: (704) 632-1622
Fax: (704) 632-1623
/s/J. Michael Honeycutt
J. Michael Honeycutt
N.C. State Bar No. 33437
Meredith W. Norvell
N.C. State Bar No. 51060
Adam M. Bridgers
N.C. State Bar No. 39543
FISHER & PHILLIPS LLP
227 West Trade Street, Suite 2020
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
Telephone: (704) 334-4565
Attorney for Plaintiff
Attorneys For Defendant
Agreement concerning material covered by a Protective Order entered in the United States
District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.
The Undersigned acknowledges that she/he has read the Protective Order entered by the
Court dated ____________________ 2017, in the civil action entitled Tara Ragan v. Mecklenburg
EMS Agency d/b/a Medic, (Civil Action No. 3:17-CV-489), pending in the United States District
Court for the Western District of North Carolina, understands the terms thereof, and agrees to be
bound by such terms. The undersigned hereby acknowledges that she/he is subject to the
jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina with
regard to this Protective Order and understands (1) the violation of the Order shall subject the
offender to such penalties, damages and other relief as may be permitted by law, and (2) that the
jurisdiction of the Court regarding this Order survives any settlement, discontinuance, dismissal,
judgment, or other disposition of this action.
Subscribed and sworn before me, this _____ day of _______________, 20____.
My commission expires:
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