Friday, March 11, 2016
Transparency in civil litigation?
Bloomberg BNA has an article by Steve Sellers about increased judicial scrutiny by courts in mass products liability cases. He lists several cases in the last few years in which courts denied secrecy provisions in settlements because of the public interest:
Pollard v. Remington Arms LLC, W.D. Mo., No. 13-cv-00086, protective order denied, 12/3/14. This case, in the W.D. Missouri, involved a design flaw with a gun's trigger mechanism.
Guardino v. Graco Children's Prods., Inc., 2015 BL 392041, N.Y. Sup. Ct., No. 42325/2010, 11/24/15. This case in New York involved a defective stroller linked to the strangulation of a child.
The Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp. LLC, 2016 BL 6286, 9th Cir., No. 15-55084, 1/11/16. This case in the 9th Circuit granted in intervenor public interest organization's motion to obtain documents in a lawsuit involving defective car parts.
Maybe there is a trend towards transparency. Another recent Bloomberg BNA piece by Perry Cooper highlights the question of whether class action settlement outcomes should be required to be disclosed.