Haeger v. Goodyear
Public Justice represents the Center for Auto Safety in seeking to intervene in a fraud case against Goodyear for the sole purpose of gaining public access to the court records and discovery documents. According to the complaint in the case, Goodyear not only sold defective tires, but knew about the defect, intentionally concealed it, and lied to the government, the public, and even courts in an effort to keep it a secret.
Relying on a blanket protective order—entered without any finding that there was good cause for secrecy—Goodyear designated nearly all of the documents it produced in discovery confidential. Then, when this purportedly “confidential” material was filed with the court, much of it was sealed without the legally required showing that there are compelling reasons for secrecy.
The court granted our motion to intervene, and on April 4, 2018, granted our motion to unseal, writing: “Goodyear’s need to maintain the confidentiality of the information or materials
produced pursuant to the protective order does not come close to outweighing the public’s need for access (through CAS) with respect to information that relates specifically to the G159 tire. That
information — primarily concerning the tire’s design, its testing, the decision to market it for use on motor homes, and the adjustment data generated by consumer experience with it — should be made public because it relates to and reveals a substantial potential risk to public health or safety.”
The documents themselves remain under seal, pending appeal.
- Jennifer Bennett