Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Grimes v. Young Life, Inc.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Anderson Division

March 15, 2017

Phillip Wade GRIMES, Personal Representative of the Estate of O.G., Plaintiff,
v.
YOUNG LIFE, INC.; Inner Quest, Inc.; and Adventure Experiences, Inc., Defendants.

          Brian T. Smith, Law Offices of Brian T. Smith, Christina M. Bradford, U.S. District Court, Greenville, SC, Lee Delton Gunn, IV, Pro Hac Vice, Ryan A. Lopez, Pro Hac Vice, Gunn Law Group PA, Tampa, FL, for Plaintiff.

          Robert Charles Rogers, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, W. Howard Boyd, Jr., Gallivan White and Boyd, Greenville, SC, for Defendants.

          OPINION & ORDER

          HENRY M. HERLONG, JR., SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the court on Young Life, Inc.'s ("Young Life") motion to seal an excerpt from the Young Life Challenge Course Manual (the "Young Life Manual"), a contract between Young Life and Inner Quest, Inc. ("Inner Quest") for the installation of a three-person giant swing (the "Contract"), and Adventure Experiences, Inc.'s ("Adventure Experiences") Giant Swing Operations Procedures (the "Adventure Experiences Manual") pursuant to Local Civil Rule 5.03 of the District of South Carolina. Young Life seeks to file the Young Life Manual, Contract, and Adventure Experiences Manual under seal as an exhibit to its motion for partial summary judgment as to Grimes' claims. The other parties do not object to sealing the Young Life Manual, Contract, and Adventure Experiences Manual.

         In Ashcraft v. Conoco, Inc., the Fourth Circuit noted that a district court "has supervisory power over its own records and may, in its discretion, seal documents if the public's right of access is outweighed by competing interests." 218 F.3d 288, 302 (4th Cir. 2000) (internal quotation marks omitted). However, there is a presumption in favor of public access to court records. Id.; see also Stone v. Univ. of Md. Med. Sys. Corp., 855 F.2d 178, 180 (4th Cir. 1988). In order to seal documents, the court must "(1) provide public notice of the request to seal and allow interested parties a reasonable opportunity to object, (2) consider less drastic alternatives to sealing the documents, and (3) provide specific reasons and factual findings supporting its decision to seal the documents and for rejecting the alternatives." Id.

         Public notice has been satisfied through docketing of Young Life's motion to seal. See Local Civ. R. D.S.C. 5.03(D). The court previously allowed Young Life to file the Contract under seal in an order dated January 23, 2017. (Jan. 23, 2017 Order, ECF No. 108.) For the reasons set forth in the January 23, 2017 order, the court finds that there is cause to allow Young Life to file the Contract under seal for purposes of its motion for partial summary judgment.

         Young Life contends that the Young Life Manual and Adventure Experiences Manual contain proprietary information regarding the safety standards and principles regarding the operation of the giant swing and challenge courses. (Mot. Seal 2, ECF No. 112.) The Plaintiff's complaint alleges negligence and strict liability claims arising from the death of Olivia Grimes, who was thrown from the three-person swing. (Am. Compl., generally, ECF No. 82.) Specifically, the Plaintiff alleges that Young Life was reckless or negligent in failing to establish proper safety procedures, comply with its own safety procedures, and adequately train staff members. (Id. at ¶¶ 31, 36, ECF No. 82.) Further, the Plaintiff alleges that Adventure Experiences was negligent and reckless in failing to adequately develop safety procedures for operation of the three-person swing and properly train the operators of the three-person swing. (Id. at ¶¶ 100, 114, ECF No. 82.)

         Young Life's assertion that the Young Life Manual and Adventures Experiences Manual contain confidential and proprietary information is not supported by a review of the documents. Neither the Young Life Manual nor the Adventure Experiences Manual contain information that would appear to be prejudicial to Young Life or Adventure Experiences' competitive standing if made public. See Cochran v. Volvo Grp. N. America, LLC, 931 F.Supp.2d 725, 729 (D. Md. 2013). Further, the public's interest in information central to this case outweighs Young Life and Adventure Experiences' interests in maintaining the confidentiality of its safety procedures. See id. Based on the foregoing, Young Life has failed to overcome the public's presumptive right to access judicial documents and records as to the Young Life Manual and the Adventure Experiences Manual.

         It is therefore

         ORDERED that Young Life's motion to seal, docket number 112, is granted in part and denied in part. It is further

         ORDERED that Young Life file the Young Life Manual and Adventure Experience Manual as additional attachments to its motion for summary judgment, docket number 113. Young Life may file the contract under seal using the event "Sealed Document."

         IT ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.