4.24.601  <<  4.24.611 >>   4.24.630

Product liability/hazardous substance claimsPublic right to informationConfidentialityDamages, costs, attorneys' feesRepeal.

As used in RCW 4.24.601 and this section:
(1)(a) "Product liability/hazardous substance claim" means a claim for damages for personal injury, wrongful death, or property damage caused by a product or hazardous or toxic substances, that is an alleged hazard to the public and that presents an alleged risk of similar injury to other members of the public.
(b) "Confidentiality provision" means any terms in a court order or a private agreement settling, concluding, or terminating a product liability/hazardous substance claim, that limit the possession, disclosure, or dissemination of information about an alleged hazard to the public, whether those terms are integrated in the order or private agreement or written separately.
(c) "Members of the public" includes any individual, group of individuals, partnership, corporation, or association.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, members of the public have a right to information necessary for a lay member of the public to understand the nature, source, and extent of the risk from alleged hazards to the public.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, members of the public have a right to the protection of trade secrets as defined in RCW 19.108.010, other confidential research, development, or commercial information concerning products or business methods.
(4)(a) Nothing in this chapter shall limit the issuance of any protective or discovery orders during the course of litigation pursuant to court rules.
(b) Confidentiality provisions may be entered into or ordered or enforced by the court only if the court finds, based on the evidence, that the confidentiality provision is in the public interest. In determining the public interest, the court shall balance the right of the public to information regarding the alleged risk to the public from the product or substance as provided in subsection (2) of this section against the right of the public to protect the confidentiality of information as provided in subsection (3) of this section.
(5)(a) Any confidentiality provisions that are not adopted consistent with the provisions of this section are voidable by the court.
(b) Any confidentiality provisions that are determined to be void are severable from the remainder of the order or agreement notwithstanding any provision to the contrary and the remainder of the order or agreement shall remain in force.
(c) Nothing in RCW 4.24.601 and this section prevents the court from denying the request for confidentiality provisions under other law nor limits the scope of discovery pursuant to applicable court rules.
(6) In cases of third party actions challenging confidentiality provisions in orders or agreements, the court has discretion to award to the prevailing party actual damages, costs, reasonable attorneys' fees, and such other terms as the court deems just.
(7) The following acts or parts of acts are each repealed on May 1, 1994:
(d) RCW 4.16.380 and 1993 c 17 s 5; and
(e) 1993 c 17 s 4 (uncodified).

NOTES:

ApplicationEffective date1994 c 42: See notes following RCW 4.24.601.
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