Judge Grants Protective Order in Connecticut Anti-Steering Case

A judge for the U.S. District Court of Connecticut overseeing the anti-steering case has granted a protective order that is “designed to prevent the unnecessary dissemination or disclosure of certain documents, transcripts, records and other things that constitute or contain confidential or protected information within the meaning of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c).”

Safelite, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and Thomas Leonardi, commissioner of the Connecticut Insurance Department, all agreed to ask the judge to grant this motion.

The order is designed to keep protected material (copied or extracted information, testimony and conversation) that comes up during discovery private.

“The plaintiffs, Safelite Group Inc. and Safelite Solutions LLC, with the consent of the defendants, hereby move for the entry of the stipulation and protective order attached hereto as Exhibit A. The proposed protective order, which provides additional protections beyond that provided by the standing protective order utilized by the court is tailored to the specific confidentiality issues in this case,” according to court documents.

Under the protective order, “Any producing party may designate as ‘confidential’ any discovery material that it believes in good faith must be designated to protect the interests of the client, including, without limitation, because such material contains legally protectable or otherwise personal information, confidential trade secrets, non-public research, development or commercial information in accordance with Rule 23 (c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. All discovery material so designated shall be referred to in this protective order as ‘confidential discovery material’ and shall be handled in strict accordance with the terms of this protective order.”

Within six months of the final judgment in the case, exhaustion of all appeals or a final settlement, all confidential discovery material must be returned to the producing party or be destroyed.

Judge Janet Bond Arterton had not issued any further rulings in this case at press time.

Safelite filed the lawsuit in late July, asking the U.S. District Court of Connecticut for a preliminary injunction against enforcement of a law that it claims will “unconstitutionally” force the company to recommend auto glass repair and replacement work to its competitors. The law was signed off by the governor and is set to take effect January 1.

In addition to asking for a preliminary injunction, Safelite had filed a complaint against Connecticut Attorney General Jepsen and Leonardi, commissioner of the Connecticut insurance department that asked for a permanent injunction against enforcement.

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