United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
April 30, 2014
IN RE PRADAXA (DABIGATRAN ETEXILATE) PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION. This Document Relates to: ALL CASES
CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NUMBER 65
ADDRESSING MOTIONS CHALLENGING CERTAIN CONFIDENTIALITY DESIGNATIONS
DAVID R. HERNDON, Chief District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on two motions filed by the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee ("PSC"): (1) motion challenging the confidentiality designations placed on certain deposition testimony by defendants Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (collectively referred to herein as "BI") (Doc. 463) and (2) motion challenging the confidentiality designations placed on certain deposition exhibits by BI (Doc. 464). BI has responded to each motion (Doc. 472 and Doc. 471). For the reasons discussed herein the Court finds in favor of BI. The motions to remove BI's confidentiality designations are therefore DENIED.
A. Applicable Standards
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c)(1), a court may "for good cause" issue a protective order requiring that "confidential research, development or commercial information" be revealed in a particular way. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1)(G). The Court exercised this power by entering Amended CMO 2, which is designed to "protect the defendants' commercially sensitive information while fostering the truth seeking function of the discovery process" (Doc. 176 p. 8). The Court further explained in CMO 56 that to sustain a confidentiality designation under Amended CMO 2, BI must "demonstrate a particular need for protection" and offer "evidence that a clearly defined and serious injury will result" in the absence of the confidentiality protection (Doc. 397 p. 5).
In the instant case, BI bears the burden of establishing that its confidentiality designations are proper.
B. Confidentiality Designations - Deposition Testimony (Doc. 463)
In accord with Amended CMO 2,  the PSC challenges the confidentiality designations that BI has placed on certain deposition testimony. Specifically, the PSC challenges three sections of deposition testimony from two BI employees, Dr. Jeffrey Friedman and Dr. Janet Schnee. The PSC contends that the testimony in issue does not contain the type of sensitive and proprietary information that is entitled to the confidentiality protections allowed by Amended CMO 2 and asks the Court to order BI to remove the confidentiality designations it has placed on the same.
BI contends that the disputed confidentiality designations are appropriate for the following reasons:
The testimony relates to BI's re-examination of the RE-LY trial
BI's business, legal, and regulatory strategy for seeking FDA approval, information that would be of considerable value to BI's competitors
After reviewing the disputed confidentiality designations, the Court finds that BI has met its burden of establishing good cause for the same. As to Dr. Schnee's testimony, the disputed excerpts relate to an ongoing scientific investigation by BI. The public release of that information could harm BI's scientific investigation. As to Dr. Friedman's testimony, the disputed excerpts relate to incomplete and/or ongoing scientific investigation. Further, the testimony implicates BI's intellectual property as well as its business, legal, and regulatory strategy.
Accordingly, the motion to de-designate the contested testimony is DENIED.
C. Confidentiality Designations - Certain Deposition Exhibits (Doc. 464).
In accord with Amended CMO 2, the PSC challenges the confidentiality designations that BI has placed twenty-four documents used as exhibits in the depositions of Jutta Heinrich-Nols and Klaus Dugi. BI contends the disputed documents fall within the protection afforded by Amended CMO 2 and Rule 26. Specifically, it asserts the disputed documents contain confidential trade secrets, research and development information, business strategies, and intellectual property, the disclosure of which would result in a serious and particularized financial harm to BI.
The Court has reviewed the disputed documents and BI's assertions with regard to the same. The Court concludes that BI has met its burden with respect to establishing that the designations are appropriate. The disputed documents implicate intellectual property, trade secrets, non-public research and development, and/or business and regulatory strategy. In addition, some of the documents are subject to confidentiality provisions of a collaboration agreement between BI and a third-party. At this time, confidentiality is necessary to protect the commercial value of BI's relationship with this third-party.
Accordingly, the motion to de-designate the contested documents is DENIED.