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Eisenberg v. Sorin Group Deutschland GMBH

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division

August 2, 2017

DUANE EISENBERG and JANNA EISENBERG, individually and as husband and wife, Plaintiffs,
v.
SORIN GROUP DEUTSCHLAND GMBH, and SORIN GROUP USA, INC., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION IN SUPPORT OF PROTECTIVE ORDER FACTUAL BACKGROUND

          LAWRENCE L. PIERSOL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The following factual allegations are contained in Plaintiffs' Complaint. Doc. 1.

         In June of 2015, Plaintiff Duane Eisenberg underwent aortic valve replacement surgery at Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Id. at ¶ 38. In the months following his surgery, Mr. Eisenberg's health steadily deteriorated and in November of 2016, he was diagnosed with mycobacterium chimaera (M. chimaera). Id. at ¶¶ 39-41. In December of 2016, Plaintiffs filed suit against Defendants alleging Mr. Eisenberg was exposed to M. chimaera during surgery as a result of the use of Defendants device, the Sorin 3T Heater-Cooler (the "3T Device"). Id. at ¶¶ 49-93.

         PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On June 22, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion for Entry of a Protective Order and, Plaintiffs responded. Doc. 40-41. The parties agreed as to the contents of the proposed protective order, with the exception of Paragraphs 2 and 3, which concerned the scope of access to and use of protected confidential information. Defendants' proposed order sought to limit dissemination of confidential information to this case and any other cases where Plaintiffs' counsel is counsel of record.[1] Doc. 40; 43. Conversely, Plaintiffs' proposed order sought to expand the protective order to allow counsel for victims to share produced documents and information.[2] Doc. 41.

         On July 7, 2017, after consideration of the two proposed orders, the Court entered Plaintiffs' proposed protective order. Doc. 44.

         DISCUSSION

         Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the granting of a protective order and requires that "good cause" be shown for a protective order to be issued. FED. R. CIV. P. 26(c); Gen. Dynamics Corp. v. Selb Mfg. Co., 481 F.2d 1204, 1212 (8th Cir. 1973); Pansy v. Borough of Stroudsburg, 23 E.3d 772, 786 (3d Cir. 1994) (citations omitted) (finding that "it is well-established that a party wishing to obtain an order of protection over discovery materials must demonstrate that 'good cause' exists for the order of protection."). Federal courts use a balancing test in determining whether good cause exists for a protective order-balancing the requesting party's need for information against the injury that may result if uncontrolled disclosure is compelled. Pansy, 23 F.3d at 787 (citing Arthur R. Miller, Confidentiality, Protective Orders, and Public Access to the Courts, 105 HARV. L. REV. 427, 433-35 (1991)).

         Courts consider a variety of factors to determine if a protective order is appropriate. Id. at 787-88. These factors include:

1. Whether disclosure will violate privacy interests;
2. Whether the information is being sought for a legitimate purpose or for an improper purpose;
3. Whether disclosure of the information will cause a party embarrassment;
4. Whether confidentiality is being sought over information important to public ...

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