Judge denies request to redact names in 38 Studios documents
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A judge on Tuesday denied a request by a defendant in the lawsuit over Rhode Island’s failed deal with Curt Schilling’s video game company to redact the names of some of its clients when court documents are released.
Wells Fargo Securities asked for 215 words identifying its clients in depositions to be redacted.
These clients have “absolutely nothing to do with 38 Studios,” and their names should be considered confidential information, Robert Duffy, an attorney for the investment bank, argued in court.
But a lawyer for Rhode Island’s economic development agency objected, arguing that the entire case is “a matter of strong public interest” and Wells Fargo wants to withhold information that already is public knowledge.
“The public, it is absolutely clear, wants to know every fact about this litigation and it is entitled to that because it has a legitimate concern,” said Stephen Sheehan, who represents the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.
Ex-Red Sox pitcher Schilling’s failed video game company 38 Studios got a $75 million state-backed loan to relocate from Massachusetts to Rhode Island. The EDC sued Schilling and 13 executives of his company, former agency employees, investment banks and others over the collapse, alleging fraud, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, among other things.
Two settlements have been approved so far. The lawsuit, which continues against Schilling and others, does not ask for a specific dollar amount, but for the defendants to repay the bonds.
Wells Fargo assisted in issuing the bonds.
Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein said he wasn’t satisfied that Wells Fargo met the burden of proof to maintain the confidentiality of the names. He ordered that there be no redactions.
Silverstein said last month that all records would be made public because discovery is complete.
Lawyers have until Friday to file depositions and exhibits with the court, Clerk Henry Kinch Jr. said. Kinch expects those documents, along with court filings such as motions, will be released next week.
At a hearing Friday, parties that produced documents for the case that are not currently filed with the court can argue to keep their information confidential.
Video game company Electronic Arts Inc. has already asked to withhold its documents containing pricing and payment terms.