On December 2, 2016, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) published its newly-adopted formal “Litigation Guidance and Recommended Best Practices for Protective Orders and Settlement Agreements in Private Civil Litigation”. See, 81 Fed. Reg. 87023. Decrying that corporate secrecy is harming consumers, the CPSC urges judges, parties, lawyers, and friends of the court to ensure that all secrecy agreements and orders at least expressly permit disclosure to the CPSC and other governmental health and safety agencies. Id.
The CPSC condemnation of secrecy is a huge step in enlightening the judiciary and the public. As in product liability litigation, secrecy in medical malpractice litigation likewise implicates the health and safety of us all.