State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company et al v. Peter J. Hanson, P.C. et al

Filing 89

ORDER re defendants' 67 Motion to Seal, signed by Judge Robert S. Lasnik. (SWT)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 _______________________________________ ) STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE ) INSURANCE COMPANY, et al., ) ) Plaintiffs, ) v. ) ) PETER J. HANSON, et al., ) ) Defendants. ) _______________________________________) Case No. C16-1085RSL ORDER REGARDING MOTION TO SEAL 14 15 This matter comes before the Court on “Defendants’ Motion to File Certain Exhibits 16 Under Seal.” Dkt. # 67. Having reviewed the memoranda and exhibits submitted by the parties, 17 the Court finds that the medical records and information regarding the non-party patients whose 18 treatment is at issue in this litigation should remain confidential to protect the privacy of those 19 patients. In addition, plaintiffs have shown that certain claims handling documents are entitled to 20 protection from public viewing because they contain unique information, were developed and 21 maintained in confidence at substantial cost, and would put plaintiffs at a competitive 22 disadvantage if disclosed. 23 Docket # 70 shall remain under seal. The public, however, has a significant interest in the 24 opinions and analysis of the experts in this litigation in that they are important to an 25 understanding if the issues and the Court’s resolution thereof. A balance between the private and 26 public interests can be achieved by redacting all patient names and other personal identifying information from Exhibits E, F, G, and H (Dkt. # 70-3 through # 70-6) and filing redacted copies ORDER REGARDING MOTION TO SEAL 1 of those exhibits in the record. Defendants shall do so within fourteen days of the date of this 2 Order. Defendants shall also file for public view the portions of Exhibit C (Dkt. # 70-1) that 3 plaintiffs agree are not confidential, namely SF0000104PROD, SF0000080PROD, and 4 SF0000081PROD.1 5 6 Dated this 13th day of November, 2017. 7 A 8 Robert S. Lasnik United States District Judge 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 1 25 26 LCR 5(g)(1) requires parties to meet and confer regarding whether a designating party will withdraw the confidential designation or will agree to redactions so that a seal is not necessary. Defendants’ email notice to plaintiffs that they intended to file a thousand pages of documents within a few hours and would like plaintiffs’ input on the confidentiality designations is not a meaningful attempt to explore alternatives to filing the documents under seal. ORDER REGARDING MOTION TO SEAL -2-

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