Feroleto Law, Buffalo NY

COURT SEALS DOCUMENTS AT EXPENSE OF CONSUMER SAFETY

An AAJ article June 4, 2009 looks at the practice of courts sealing litigation documents to the advantage of manufacturers in certain product cases. For example, Bausch & Lomb settled hundreds of cases involving contact solution that involved blindness where the court ordered the documents to be sealed. This essentially leaves the users of the product and their doctors without any knowledge of the causes of the infection caused by the solution.

The AAJ reported that the practice was the subject of a hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law last week. The practice prevents the public from finding out about harmful products. The article discusses how corporations use secrecy such as this to avoid responsibility and public scrutiny.