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Jane Doe v. Lansal

March 5, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Harry D. Leinenweber


Monica Cruz, Intervenor (hereinafter, "Intervenor") in this case, is simultaneously engaged in another lawsuit against Defendant in the Northern District of Illinois (Case No. 10-5653, the "Judge Lefkow case"). Intervenor asks this Court to modify its protective order so that she may access discovery in this case for use in the Judge Lefkow case. Defendant seeks reconsideration of this Court's implicit finding of standing for Intervenor and argues she has none. Alternatively, Defendant argues the protective order should not be modified. For the following reasons, the Court finds Intervenor does have standing and so denies the Motion to Reconsider. The Court also grants Intervenor's Motion to Modify Protective Order, but with specific limitations.


Plaintiff Jane Doe ("Doe") filed suit in October 2008 against Defendants Lansal, Inc., ("Lansal") and Chris Sineni ("Sineni"). Doe started work in late 2003 at Lansal's Illinois production facility as a line production worker; Sineni was the Operations Director for the facility. Doe alleged that Sineni, between 2005 and 2008, forced her to engage in oral sex and other acts upon threat of firing and deportation. (Doe, at that time, was an illegal alien.)

In gaining employment with Lansal, Doe used a fake name. When Doe received, in January of 2008, documentation allowing her to work in the U.S. legally, she revealed her real name to Lansal supervisors. Doe quit on May 8, 2008.

In the course of discovery, Doe, Lansal and Sineni agreed to a protective order which Judge David Coar approved on May 29, 2009. Defendants and Plaintiff settled February 12, 2010.

The protective order provided that any document, deposition, interrogatory or information designated as "confidential" by the parties would be subject to the protective order. However, it provided that only items containing the following could be, in good faith, marked "confidential":

(I) Information which may be used to identify Plaintiff, including her actual name, social security number, or other personally identifying information;

(ii) Information relating to the financial history and status of either party;

(iii) Medical information; or (iv) Information of a personal nature and/or sensitive nature.

Doe v. Lansal et al., Protective Order, Case No. 08-5983 DKT No. 73, Page ID 995. The order went on to provide that neither party was prohibited from using discovery for litigation in this case, but that "if any confidential documents will be introduced to the public record, they must be redacted to omit identifying information about the Plaintiff." Id. at 995, 997. Judge Coar's order allowed for the filing of both restricted and sealed documents. Lastly, the order provides that discovery may be used "for no other purpose whatsoever" besides the litigation at issue (id. at 994) and it provides that "either party, or an interested member of the public, can challenge the secreting of particular documents pursuant to this Protective Order by filing a motion with the court." Id. at 996.

On August 28, 2009, Defendants filed an exhibit (fully accessible by anyone with a PACER account or using a public terminal at this courthouse) that identified the Plaintiff by the pseudonym she used to obtain her job. Dkt. No. 51-1. Other exhibits filed by Defendant listed her real home address (Dkt. 53-2), the full, real name of Plaintiff's sister (Dkt. 53, Page ID 317), and referred to Plaintiff by her real first name (Dkt. 53-8, Page ID 361, line 14).

On September 23, 2009, Plaintiffs filed exhibits listing the last four numbers of Plaintiff's Social Security Number (Dkt. 58-2, Page ID 420, line 12), a partial real address matching that filed by Defendants (Dkt. 58-2, Page ID 420, lines 2-6), and the fake name by which she obtained her job. Id. at lines 22-24. The publicly accessible deposition goes on to give Plaintiff's husband's real first two names (Id. at Page ID 424), the real first names and birth dates of all her children (Id. at Page ID 426-427), the real first names of Plaintiff's parents (Id. at 428), and numerous other personal identifiers including places of employment, siblings real first names and sometimes real full names. See generally, Dkt. 58.

Most revealing, the deposition lists Plaintiff's real last name in two locations. Dkt. 58-2, Page ID 446, line 2, Dkt. 58-3, Page ID 542, line 9.

In that same deposition, there is graphic information revealing numerous sexual encounters between Plaintiff and Defendant Sineni, including allegations of forced sexual encounters by Sineni upon Plaintiff, and allegations that Sineni had similar interactions with Plaintiff's sister, another Lansal employee. The transcript and other documents also reveal that after the last encounter between the Plaintiff and Defendant Sineni, Plaintiff saved the semen on her shirt, allowing her later ...

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