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Reel v. Costco Wholesale Corporation

United States District Court, D. Nevada

May 3, 2018

ERNEST REEL, Plaintiff,
v.
COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION, Defendants.

          JORGE RAMIREZ, ESQ., CHRISTOPHER D. PHIPPS, ESQ. WILSON, ELSER, MOSKOWITZ, EDELMAN & DICKER LLP Attorneys for Defendant Costco Wholesale Corporation

          Kyle A. Stucki, Esq. STUCKI INJURY LAW Attorney for Plaintiff

          CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT AND STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER

         The parties agree, through their respective counsel as their authorized representatives, to the terms and conditions of this Confidentiality Agreement and Stipulated Protective Order (“Confidentiality Agreement”) governing the disclosure, handling and disposition of documents and information in this litigation as set forth herein.

         1. Need and Application.

         1.1 At the heart of this litigation is an alleged incident which occurred on or about May 12, 2017, at the Costco Warehouse located at 6555 N. Decatur Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89131, in which Plaintiff claims he injured his knee when he stepped between two pallets to reach a bag of water softener salt. Plaintiff EARNEST REEL'S (“Plaintiff”) claims in this litigation, and the discovery to take place between the parties, will likely require the production of confidential business, personnel, and proprietary information of Defendant Costco Wholesale Corporation, a foreign corporation (“Costco”).

         Prior to production, no party can effectively and fully evaluate the claims of the other as to the need for protection. Thus, this Confidentiality Agreement enables the production of documents, at least to the point of evaluating the claims of need for protection, and specifying how such documents need to be treated when produced. Moreover, pursuant to the terms of this Confidentiality Agreement, any document designated as confidential where that designation is disputed can be identified as such and the matter then submitted to the Court for resolution.

         In essence, without a Confidentiality Agreement, the Court may have to evaluate innumerable documents individually, and this task would likely burden the Court and delay the discovery process. Regarding documents that are entitled to protection, disclosure of such confidential and proprietary information is likely to prejudice the legitimate business, competitive, and/or privacy interests of the parties or of third parties. A Confidentiality Agreement is thus required in this action to enable the documents to be evaluated and to protect against unauthorized disclosure of confidential and proprietary information and to ensure that such information will be used only for purposes of this action. A Confidentiality Agreement will also expedite the flow of discovery materials, protect the integrity of truly confidential and proprietary information, promote the prompt resolution of disputes over confidentiality, and facilitate the preservation of material worthy of protection.

         1.2 This Confidentiality Agreement shall govern any document, information or other material that is designated as containing “Confidential Information” or “Attorney's Eyes Only Information” as defined herein, and is produced in connection with this litigation by any person or entity (the “Producing Party” or “Disclosing Party”), whether in response to a discovery request, subpoena or otherwise, to any other person or entity (the “Receiving Party”) regardless of whether the person or entity producing or receiving such information is a party to this litigation.

         2. Definitions.

         2.1 Confidential Information.

         “Confidential Information” shall mean and include, without limitation, any non-public information that concerns or relates to the following areas: confidential proprietary information, trade secrets, security, safety and surveillance policies, maintenance practices and procedures, commercial, financial, pricing, budgeting, and/or accounting information, information about existing and potential customers, marketing studies, performance projections, business strategies, decisions and/or negotiations, personnel compensation, evaluations and other employment information, and confidential proprietary information about affiliates, parents, subsidiaries and third-parties with whom the parties to this action have or have had business relationships. “Confidential information” may be contained in the following documents: manuals, contracts, correspondence (electronic or otherwise), blueprints, specifications, drawings, security records, security reports, security shift information and staffing levels, security patrols, security policies and procedures, maintenance policies and procedures, locations of surveillance and security cameras, documents regarding surveillance and security camera capabilities, production documents, analytical reports, certification-related documents, and other documents relating to Defendant.

         2.2 Attorney's Eyes Only Information.

         “Attorney's Eyes Only Information” is a subset of Confidential Information that includes any document or testimony that contains highly sensitive proprietary, security and surveillance, private, financial or trade secret information where the Disclosing Party reasonably believes that disclosure of such information to other parties in the litigation would cause severe competitive damage.

         2.3 Documents.

         As used herein, the term “documents” includes all writings, records, files, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, e-mails, video tapes, audio tapes, compact discs, electronic messages, other data compilations from which information can be obtained and other tangible things subject to production under the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure.

         3. Initial Designation.

         3.1 Good Faith Claims.

         Claims of confidentiality will be made only with respect to documents, other tangible things and information that the asserting party has a good faith belief are within the definition set forth in subparagraph 2.1 of this Confidentiality Agreement. Objections to such claims made pursuant to paragraph 5, below, shall also be made only in good faith.

         3.2 Produced Documents.

         A party producing documents that it believes constitute or contain Confidential Information shall produce copies bearing a label that contains or includes language substantially identical to the following:

         CONFIDENTIAL

         This label shall be affixed in a manner that does not obliterate or obscure the contents of the copies. If any person or party makes copies of documents designated as containing Confidential Information, the copying person or party shall mark each such copy as containing Confidential Information in the same form as the Confidentiality notice on the original document.

         A party producing documents that are stored on electronic, magnetic, optical or other non-paper media, such as compact discs, DVD's, video tapes and audio tapes (collectively, “data storage devices”) shall designate the data storage device as containing Confidential Information, by affixing a label or stamp to the data storage device in the manner described above at the time copies of such data storage devices are produced. If the Receiving Party or other persons or entities to whom disclosure is authorized pursuant to subparagraph 7.1 make a copy of any data storage device designated by the producing party as containing Confidential Information, the Receiving Party or other authorized person shall mark each such copy as containing Confidential Information in the same form as the confidentiality notice on the original data storage device produced. If the Receiving Party or other authorized person prints out or otherwise makes copies of the documents or information stored on such data storage device, the Receiving Party or other authorized person shall mark each page so copied with the label or stamp specified in subparagraph 3.2.

         A party producing documents that it believes constitute or contain Attorney's Eyes Only Information shall follow the procedures set forth above with respect to Confidential Information, except that the copies shall be produced bearing a label that contains or includes language substantially identical to the following:

         ATTORNEY'S EYES ONLY

         3.3 Interrogatory Answers.

         If a party answering an interrogatory or other discovery demand believes that its answer contains Confidential Information or Attorney's Eyes Only Information, it shall set forth that answer in a separate document that is produced and designated in the same manner as a produced document under subparagraph 3.2. Such answers should make reference to the separately-produced document containing the answer, but such document should not be attached to the response.

         3.4 Inspection of Documents.

         In the event a party elects to produce files and records for inspection and the Requesting Party elects to inspect them, no designation of Confidential Information or Attorney's Eyes Only Information needs to be made in advance of the inspection. For purposes of such inspection, all material produced shall be considered as Confidential Information. If the inspecting party selects specified documents to be copied, the producing party shall designate Confidential ...


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