11:41am PT by Ashley Cullins
Medical Records in Shannen Doherty Lawsuit Will Be Sealed, Rules Judge
Medical records connected to Shannen Doherty's lawsuit against her former business-management firm will be sealed, and it looks like all depositions in the case will be subject to a protective order.
In a Friday-morning hearing on another matter in the case, L.A. County Superior Court Judge Susan Bryant-Deason encouraged attorneys for both parties to stipulate to keep medical records private, despite Doherty's status as a public figure.
"There's no way I'm not going to seal medical records," she said, adding that it saves them the trouble of showing up for a hearing on the matter set for May 18.
In August, Doherty sued her former business-and-accounting firm Tanner Mainstain, alleging the company failed to pay her 2014 Screen Actors Guild insurance premiums, and the star lost her medical coverage without her knowledge. She claimed when she discovered she was uninsured and couldn't re-enroll for SAG medical benefits until 2015, she held off on routine doctor's visits. During this time, Doherty claimed, her then-undiagnosed breast cancer metastasized. Had she been insured, she said she would have been diagnosed sooner, and mastectomy and chemotherapy treatments could have been avoided.
In a thinly veiled shot at Doherty's camp, Tanner Mainstain's attorney Randall Dean said he's concerned video of depositions will appear in the media. He pointed to audio tapes of a call Tanner Mainstain employee Kimberly Gabay made to SAG as proof and mentioned The Hollywood Reporter's coverage of the content in them. In that call, which happened before the lawsuit was filed, Gabay pretended to be Doherty in an effort to get information about where insurance documents had been mailed.
Ahead of a Tuesday hearing on the issue, Bryant-Deason tentatively ruled on Friday that all depositions in the case are subject to a protective order and should be treated as such.
She hopes the move will protect both sides, avoid contaminating the jury pool and keep parties from being subject to "harassment and nosiness."
The actual issue on the docket for Friday's hearing was whether excerpts of the transcript of Gabay's deposition, attached to a motion for terminating sanctions, should remain under seal.
In that motion, Doherty's attorneys claimed sanctions were warranted for Tanner Mainstain’s “egregious and illegal discovery misconduct” in connection to Gabay’s call and sought to prevent them from using any evidence they obtained from SAG after July 8, 2015. On March 14, the court denied Doherty’s motion in its entirety.
Doherty's attorney, Peter Scott, said the excerpts at issue pertain to Gabay pleading the Fifth and do not raise privacy concerns.
Bryant-Deason agreed and ruled those excerpts will be unsealed.
Doherty's attorneys have filed a motion to compel a second deposition from Gabay, in light of her Fifth Amendment invocations, and a hearing on that matter is set for April 18.