Petitioning the Alabama Supreme Court for writ of mandamus.
Working with Lightfoot attorneys, our client — a multinational engineering and electronics company — successfully petitioned the Alabama Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus directing a state trial court to strengthen a protective order governing production of our client's commercial trade secrets. In the underlying wrongful death suit, Plaintiff claimed that the non-deployment of airbags and seatbelt pretensioners in a severe automobile crash was caused by an alleged defect in the crash sensing control unit manufactured by our client. The control unit uses a highly sensitive and proprietary algorithm developed by our client and which Plaintiff sought in discovery. Our client objected to producing the algorithm on grounds of relevance, but noted that if production was ordered, the algorithm should be protected to the maximum extent possible. The Alabama Supreme Court agreed with our client that the trial court’s protective order “provided insufficient protection for the algorithm, which, as noted, is undisputedly a trade secret” and ordered that the trial court vacate its protective order and “enter a more comprehensive and restrictive protective order with regard to the algorithm.”