United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville
WILLIAM H. WILLIAMS PLAINTIFF
BAPTIST HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, INC. d/b/a BAPTIST HEALTH LEXINGTON DEFENDANT
Charles R. Simpson III, Senior Judge.
matter is before the court on defendant Baptist Health
Lexington's (“BHL”) objection to Magistrate
Judge Dave Whalin's order denying BHL's motion for a
protective order. ECF No. 61. For the reasons stated below,
this objection will be overruled.
case arises from an incident that occurred at BHL on April 4,
2015. On this occasion, BHL did not have any cardiothoracic
(CT) surgery physicians available to provide on-call and
emergency services. ECF No. 61, p. 1. As a result, BHL
instituted a policy to divert CT patients to another
hospital. Id. Although this policy was communicated
to Emergency Department staff, a BHL nurse received a call
from an in-bound ambulance transporting a cardiac
catheterization patient and mistakenly told the ambulance to
bring the patient to BHL. Id. Upon realizing this
mistake, the nurse attempted to contact the ambulance to
divert it. Id. at 1-2. However, the ambulance
arrived before the message was communicated. Id. at
2. The nurse met the ambulance outside and directed the EMTs
to go to another hospital. Id.
patient, plaintiff William H. Williams
(“Williams”), was then taken to another hospital
where he underwent a five-vessel coronary artery bypass.
Id. On April 4, 2016, Williams filed suit against
BHL, alleging violations of the Emergency Medical Treatment
and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), medical negligence, and
negligence per se. Pl. Complaint, ECF No. 1.
March 30, 2017, Williams and BHL entered into a private
protective agreement, agreeing that BHL would turn over
documents it considered to be confidential and Williams would
keep those documents confidential unless and until he gave
notice of his intent to challenge this categorization. ECF
No. 61, p. 2. In the event that the confidentiality of one or
more documents was challenged, BHL would have thirty days to
file a motion for a protective order with the court.
to the private protective agreement, BHL produced various
documents it claimed were confidential. Id. Williams
subsequently challenged the confidentiality of twenty-five of
these documents. Id. On May 23, 2017, BHL filed a
motion for a protective order with the court. ECF No. 49.
Then, on August 10, 2017, Judge Whalin requested in
camera review of the documents in question. ECF No. 58.
Judge Whalin subsequently entered an order denying BHL's
motion for a protective order. ECF No. 60.
objects to Judge Whalin's denial of a protective order.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(a), a party may file an
objection to a magistrate judge's order within fourteen
days of being served with a copy. Upon review, a district
court must “modify or set aside any part of the order
that is clearly erroneous or contrary to law.”
Id. Clear error exists “when the reviewing
court is left with the definite and firm conviction that a
mistake has been committed.” Max Trucking, LLC v.
Liberty Mut. Ins. Corp., 802 F.3d 793, 810 (6th Cir.
2015) (citing Anderson v. City of Bessemer City, 470
U.S. 564, 573 (1985)).
objects to Judge Whalin's denial of a protective order
for its twenty-five documents. Under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 26(c)(1)(G), “[t]he court may, for good
cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from
annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or
expense, including . . . requiring that a trade secret or
other confidential research, development, or commercial
information not be revealed or be revealed only in a
specified way . . .” Good cause exists when the party
moving for the protective order “articulate[s] specific
facts showing ‘clearly defined and serious injury'
resulting from the discovery sought . . .” Nix v.
Sword, 11 Fed.Appx. 498, 500 (6th Cir. 2001) (citing
Avirgan v. Hull, 118 F.R.D. 252, 254 (D.D.C. 1987)).
to consider in determining whether a specific item is a trade
secret or confidential information include:
(1) the extent to which the information is known outside of
(2) the extent to which it is known by employees and others