Thursday, August 14, 2014

This explains the "media blackout"

Quick, close the lid, the truth is escaping the box!

People have wondered why Michael Barr's presentation did not get more attention in the press after the Bookout trial, where it was shown in open court. I think that I have stumbled upon the reason. It is quoted in Toyota's motion that has led to my subpoena. On page 7 of the motion, written by Skadden rainmaking partner Lisa Gilford and submitted to the federal court on May 12 of 2014, there is a footnote. It says:

"The [redacted][likely text: Barr presentation] remains subject to the protections of this Court's Protective Orders, despite the display of some of its slides during the Bookout trial. (See Protective Order Paragraph 29 ("In the event that any Confidential or Highly Confidential Material is used in any court proceeding in this Litigation or any appeal therefrom, such Confidential or Highly Confidential Material shall not lose its status as Confidential or Highly Confidential through such use. Counsel shall comply with all applicable local rules and shall confer on such procedures that are necessary to protect the confidentiality of any document, information and transcripts used in the course of any court proceedings, including petitioning the Court to close the court room.").)

Now, reading this, I think it means that Toyota has already negotiated with plaintiffs in advance and has gotten its wishes for confidentiality set into legal stone by the court. So even when, as in the Bookout trial, the jury finds Toyota's proven product defects liable for a death, and the company liable for punitive damages for reckless disregard for safety, the company is still entitled to keep the technical information about those killer defects and that cover-up secret from the public.

Now I am looking at you, and you know who you are, Steve, Marc, Frank, Elizabeth, Mark, along with Douglas, Cari, Vincent, Joel, and also Tom and Lisa, and whomever else was involved in writing and accepting these terms, all of you... and I ask, how you could have written and agreed to this clause in the protective order among yourselves in order to advance your interests in the litigation at the expense of all the people who might be killed and whose families' lives might be forever destroyed by the ongoing secrecy about these looks to me like blood is on all of your hands, despite your likely claims to the contrary. Shame on all of you.