White v. Adena Health System et al
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART 4 Motion to File Document Under Seal. Signed by Magistrate Judge Chelsey M. Vascura on 9/14/2017. (kdp)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
JENNIFER S. WHITE,
Civil Action 2:17-cv-593
Judge George C. Smith
Magistrate Judge Chelsey M. Vascura
ADENA HEALTH SYSTEM, et al.,
Plaintiff, Jennifer White, has filed an amended motion for leave to file Exhibit 5 of her
Complaint under seal and ex parte. (ECF No. 4.) Plaintiff indicates that Exhibit 5 is a settlement
agreement (“the Agreement”) between herself and Adena Health System and cites the
Agreement’s confidentiality provision as justification for preventing access to defendants and the
public. She explains that “[t]he confidentiality provision prohibits disclosure of the terms of the
Agreement except to enforce its terms.” (Id. at 2.) In her Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Adena
Health System breached a non-disparagement provision in the Agreement. (ECF No. 1). In her
Amended Motion, she represents that this non-disparagement provision is “the only provision of
the Agreement at issue.” (Am. Mot. 2, ECF No. 4.) She therefore asks that the Agreement
remain confidential, asserting that disclosure will constitute a breach of the Agreement and cause
damage to herself.
In advancing breach-of-contract claims premised upon the non-disparagement provision of
the Agreement, Plaintiff has effectively made that portion of the Agreement a subject of this
litigation. This, together with Plaintiff’s representation that the Agreement contemplates
disclosure to enforce its terms, convinces the Court that, at a minimum, the non-disparagement
provision of the Agreement may not be filed ex parte or even under seal. Based upon Plaintiff’s
representation that the remainder of the Agreement is not at issue, however, the Court will permit
her to redact all but the non-disparagement provision. Further, because Plaintiff represents that
the remainder of the Agreement is not at issue, the Court finds no reason to require that it be filed
in its entirety. If, as the litigation progresses, it appears that adjudication of the breach-of-contract
claim requires disclosure of the full Agreement or other provisions of the Agreement, the Court
will consider whether such disclosure should be shielded from public view.
In summary, Plaintiff’s Amended Motion (ECF No. 4) is GRANTED IN PART AND
DENIED IN PART as follows: Plaintiff must publicly disclose the non-disparagement
provision of the Agreement as part of her Complaint by filing Exhibit 5 as an addendum to her
Complaint, but may redact the other substantive terms of the Agreement. At this juncture,
Plaintiff need not file an unredacted version of the Agreement under seal.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ Chelsey M. Vascura
CHELSEY M. VASCURA
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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