United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
DONALD G. WILKERSON, Magistrate Judge.
Now Pending before the Court are the Motion for Protective Order filed by Wexford Health Sources, Inc. on November 14, 2014 (Doc. 134), the Motion to Compel Discovery filed by Plaintiff, Angel Gonzalez, on November 24, 2014 (Doc. 136), the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant, Rick Harrington, on December 1, 2014 (Doc. 137), the Motion for Extension of Time to File Summary Judgment Motions filed by Rick Harrington on December 1, 2014 (Doc. 138), and the Motion for Extension of Time to File Response filed by Plaintiff on January 5, 2015 (Doc. 143). The Motion for Protective Order is GRANTED IN PART (Doc. 134), the Motion to Compel Discovery is TAKEN UNDER ADVISEMENT (Doc. 136), the Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED IN PART (Doc. 137), the Motion for Extension of Time to File Summary Judgment Motions is GRANTED (Doc. 138), and the Motion for Extension of Time to File Response is GRANTED (Doc. 143).
Motion for Protective Order
Wexford Health Sources, Inc., which is not a party to this lawsuit,  seeks a protective order related to a discovery request by Plaintiff for various policies and procedures related to the healthcare that Wexford provides to inmates within the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). Wexford indicates that these items contain proprietary information and that they should remain confidential in order to comply with security and safety requirements of the IDOC. The parties agree to the proposed protective order.
The proposed protective order would cover any document produced by Wexford that the parties believe would require protection. It would prevent the Plaintiff, himself, from copying or disseminating such documents and would prevent any person from disclosing the documents to persons outside of this litigation. The proposed other further provides that documents may only be used in this litigation and that they must be promptly returned to Wexford or destroyed at the conclusion of this litigation. Finally, the proposed order notes that any party may seek modification and that:
In the event that any party, person, or entity otherwise bound by this Protective Order intends to file any Protected Documents in the public record, such material shall be filed in accordance with the Court's procedures, if any, for filing material under seal. The Court hereby grants the parties leave to so file any Protected Documents.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c)(1)(G) allows for protective orders to prevent the disclosure of "trade secret[s] or other confidential research, development, or commercial information." Defendant appears to be seeking relief pursuant to this Rule. While the Court generally approves the proposed protective order, see e.g. Methodist Hospitals, Inc. v. Sullivan, 91 F.3d 1026, 1031-1032 (7th Cir. 1996), certain modifications are necessary. First, the protective order is open-ended in that it would prevent the disclosure of any and all documents that the parties believe should be protected. Such a procedure does not inform the Court as to what documents, or even categories of documents, would be covered by the proposed protective order. However, the subpoena attached to Wexford's motion, which contains a list of requested documents, does provide clarity. Therefore, the protective order shall be limited to the types and categories of documents that have been requested by Plaintiff in his subpoena dated October 29, 2014, to wit:
a. general policies and procedures regarding the delivery, management, costs, levels, and standards of or related to healthcare services provided to inmates incarcerated with the Illinois Department of Corrections;
b. policies, guidelines, and procedures related to the delivery of specific care for specific conditions, like inguinal hernias;
c. plans as to the medical care of Plaintiff;
d. policies and procedures related to the handling of/participation in/response to prisoner grievances or the grievance process.
e. costs related to the delivery of healthcare in general and/or as to particular inmates or particular conditions.
f. medical care provided to particular inmates;
The protective order shall be entered by separate docket entry. If the parties believe that additional or different categories should be utilized, they may file a ...