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Washington v. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division

July 30, 2019


          Jennifer Diane Spyker Margaret Maloney, N.C. S.B. 13253 Jennifer Diane Spyker, N.C. S.B. 46048 Maloney Law Associates, PLLC Attorney for Plaintiff

          Kevin Parsons NC Bar No. 19226 Philip A. Hinson NC Bar No. 42907 Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP Attorneys for Defendant


          David C. Keesler, Judge

         Pursuant to Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, upon motion of the parties, and it appearing that the discovery process in this action may involve the production of information that a party may contend is confidential and/or proprietary and good cause exists for the entry of an Order limiting the disclosure of such information; IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that:

         1. This Order governs the handling and disclosure of all materials produced, given, or filed herein by the parties and designated as “CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Court understands that included in the types of information which may be sought or used by the parties in this case is personnel file and information protected by the North Carolina Public Hospital Personnel Act, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 131E-257 (the “Personnel Act”). The Court hereby orders production of records and information protected by the Personnel Act so long as those records and that information may be otherwise discoverable under the law.

         2 . Definitions:

         a. “Document” means all writings, drawings, graphs, charts, recordings, and any other documents as defined in the parties' Definitions to their discovery requests and Fed.R.Civ.P. 34.

         b. “Material” means any documents, any answer to any interrogatory or other discovery request in this action, any portion of any deposition (including deposition exhibits) in this action, and any other information produced, given, or filed in this action.

         c. “Parties” means Plaintiff Pamela Washington and Defendant The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority d/b/a Atrium Health f/k/a Carolinas HealthCare System.

         d. “Confidential Information” as used herein includes financial and health records of Plaintiff, documents, records, or information which relates to any medical care or treatment of Plaintiff, personnel records of current and former employees of Defendant which is confidential pursuant to the Personnel Act, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 131-257, and all financial or other sensitive information, which is not generally accessible to the public or subject to production under the Freedom of Information Act or North Carolina public records laws, whether documentary or otherwise, designated as “confidential” and disclosed by any party in this action in response to an interrogatory, a request for production of documents, a deposition or otherwise, or disclosed by any third party in response to a subpoena, deposition question or otherwise. The designation of documents or information as Confidential Information shall not be conclusive for purposes of the substantive issues in this case. The definition of Confidential Information does not establish or create any presumption that such information is discoverable or admissible and this Order shall be without prejudice to the right of any party to oppose production of any information on any other ground.

         3. A party or witness may designate any document or information contained in a document as confidential if counsel determines, in good faith, that such designation is necessary to protect the interests of the client.

         4. A party or witness may designate as “Confidential Information” any material produced in the course of discovery that contains confidential information by conspicuously labeling each document with the word “CONFIDENTIAL.” In the case of deposition transcripts and exhibits, the parties may designate such materials as “Confidential” by a statement to that effect on the record by counsel for the party who claims that Confidential Information is about to be or has been disclosed, or by letter thereafter, submitted within twenty (20) days of the receipt of the deposition transcript. In the event Confidential Information is contained in any written response to a discovery request, in any deposition transcript, or in any exhibit thereto, the confidential portion of such response, transcript, or exhibit shall be redacted before filing or filed under seal if necessary.

         5. In the event confidential, proprietary or sensitive material is inadvertently produced without placing the designation “Confidential” thereon, the party or witness may, subsequent to the production (or subsequent to the 20-day period for designating deposition transcripts), designate the material as Confidential Information. In the event, the material shall be treated in accordance with the terms of this Order from the time of designation. Inadvertent or unintentional disclosure of Confidential Information shall not be deemed a waiver in whole or in part of its claim of confidentiality with respect to either the information so disclosed or any other related information.

         6. Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, or otherwise provided for herein, the Confidential Information, and information derived therefrom, shall be used solely in the prosecution or defense of the claims between the parties and ...

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