Olberg et al v. Allstate Insurance Company

Filing 130

ORDER granting Plaintiffs' 103 Motion to Seal. The Clerk is DIRECTED to maintain under seal Docket Numbers 106 and 107 -1 through 107 -28. Signed by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour. (LH)

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THE HONORABLE JOHN C. COUGHENOUR 1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 7 8 9 JEFF OLBERG, et al., 10 Plaintiffs, ORDER v. 11 12 CASE NO. C18-0573-JCC ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, et al., 13 Defendants. 14 15 This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs’ motion to seal Plaintiff’s motion for 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 class certification and supporting documents (Dkt. No. 103). Having thoroughly considered the briefing and the relevant record, the Court hereby GRANTS the motion for the reasons explained herein. Consistent with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5.2, Local Civil Rule 5(g), and the protective orders entered in this matter (Dkt. Nos. 32, 83), Plaintiff filed a redacted version of its motion for class certification (Dkt. No. 104) and a sealed unredacted version of the motion (Dkt. No. 106); a sealed declaration from John M. DeStefano with associated exhibits (Dkt. Nos. 107, 107-1–107-22); a sealed declaration from Larry Hausman-Cohen (Dkt. No. 107-23); sealed expert reports by David Schwickerath, Lance Kaufman, William Berglund, and Darrell Harber with associated exhibits (Dkt. Nos. 107-24–27); and a sealed declaration from Elizabeth Gibson ORDER C18-0573-JCC PAGE - 1 1 with associated exhibits (Dkt. No. 107-28). The redacted and sealed information contained in 2 these documents has been designated by Defendants’ counsel as confidential and/or highly 3 confidential-attorney’s eyes only pursuant to the previously entered protective orders in this case. 4 (Dkt. Nos. 103 at 2, 110 at 2–4; see Dkt. Nos. 32, 83.) Defendants assert the documents contain 5 proprietary information that could be used by competitors against Defendants if made publicly 6 available. (Dkt. Nos. 103 at 2–4, 110 at 4–6.) 7 “Historically, courts have recognized a ‘general right to inspect and copy public records 8 and documents, including judicial records and documents.’” Kamakana v. City & Cnty. of 9 Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Nixon v. Warner Commc’ns, Inc., 435 10 U.S. 589, 597 (1978)). That right is reduced when applied to confidential and proprietary 11 business records. Id. at 1179; see In re Electronic Arts, 298 F. App’x 568, 569 (9th Cir. 2008). 12 This is particularly true for records attached to nondispositive motions. In re Midland Nat. Life 13 Ins. Co. Annuity Sales Practices Litig., 686 F.3d 1115 (9th Cir. 2012). 14 The motion at issue is a class certification motion (Dkt. No. 104). While courts may 15 consider the merits of a party’s underlying claim in ruling on such motions, the primary 16 consideration for the Court is whether the class device is appropriate. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. 17 Dukes, 564 U.S. 338, 348–49 (2011). This Court considers the class certification motion here to 18 be nondispositive. On this basis, it applies the “good cause” standard articulated in Federal Rule 19 of Civil Procedure 26(c). Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1180. Therefore, only a “particularized 20 showing” of harm from disclosure is required. Id. 21 The Court has reviewed the records at issue and concluded that a showing of harm has 22 been made in the instant matter. Disclosure of the sensitive information included in the records 23 would cause irreparable harm to Defendants because it would provide Defendants’ competitors 24 information about how it conducts its business. 25 26 For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs’ motion to seal (Dkt. No. 103) is GRANTED. The Clerk is DIRECTED to maintain under seal Docket Numbers 106 and 107-1 through 107-28. ORDER C18-0573-JCC PAGE - 2 1 DATED this 31st day of March 2021. A 2 3 4 John C. Coughenour UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 ORDER C18-0573-JCC PAGE - 3

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