Friday, June 1, 2018

Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas Issues Discovery Orders in Peer Review Case

The Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas recently addressed a discovery issue in the context of a lawsuits filed for the payment of three (3) separate chiropractors’ unpaid bills following peer reviews.  

During the course of these actions, Plaintiff’s counsel served written discovery on the PIP medical benefits carrier requesting the production of the peer review section of its Medical Management Automobile Policy and Procedure Manual.  The carrier refused to do so unless the Plaintiff signed a Confidentiality Agreement, which the Plaintiff refused.  

The carrier then filed for protective orders in the cases presented.  

Judge Andrew Dowling of Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas held a hearing and eventually issued order ruling that the pages of the manual at issue did not constitute any trade secrets.  The court also indicated that the carrier failed to offer any evidence as to what harm the carrier would suffer if the five (5) pages at issue were released to the public and/or to the carrier’s competitors. 

As such, the court ordered that the documents be produced and further ordered that the Plaintiff’s counsel was not required to execute a Confidentiality Agreement.  

Anyone wishing to review a copy of these Orders issued in the cases with the Plaintiff’s names of Aukerman, Turnpaugh, and Pennese, may contact me at

I send thanks to Attorney Robert Claraval of Claraval & Claraval Law Offices in Harrisburg, PA for bringing these decisions to my attention.

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