Court Orders Production Of Safety Manuals And Procedures On Attorneys’ Eyes-Only Basis

In a discovery dispute arising in a worker injury case, a Louisiana federal court had to resolve a motion for a protective order seeking to prevent discovery of certain types of information.  Among the categories of documents sought included the company’s safety manuals and procedures.  The objection specifically said that this “Subpoena Request seeks information or documents that contain or constitute trade secrets, proprietary information, or other confidential business information.  [Party] has expended a considerable amount of time creating and updating its safety manual and safety training and procedures.  This information is not public, but is a product of [Party’s] knowledge, experience and internal procedures that are privileged, proprietary information.”

The court concluded that the safety manuals and procedures did include commercially sensitive information but allowed production on an attorneys’ eyes-only basis (which extended to any retained experts).  The court required anyone who received this information to sign an affidavit and file on the record agreeing to the terms of the protective order.  The court also limited the production to all safety manuals and procedures effective within one year of the incident in question.

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