Grove Fresh Distributors, Inc. v. Everfresh Juice Co.
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
24 F.3d 893 (7th Cir. 1994)
Grove Fresh Distributors, Inc. (Grove Fresh) (plaintiff) filed two separate actions against several competing orange juice companies, including Everfresh Juice Co. (defendant), alleging that the defendants were mislabeling and adulterating their products, in violation of Food and Drug Administration regulations, federal anti-competition laws, and the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute. In the first case (the 89 case), the court issued a protective order preventing Grove Fresh from disclosing confidential information obtained from the defendants. In the second case (the 90 case), the entire court file was sealed by the court. Two different sets of interveners attempted to be joined in order to modify the protective order and vacate the seal on the two cases. The first set of interveners was comprised of consumers, bringing suit based on fraud and breach of warranty. The court denied their motion to intervene, holding that the consumers lacked standing and would not suffer any prejudice from the denial. The second group of interveners, the Ad Hoc Coalition of In-Depth Journalists (Coalition), was comprised of professional journalists alleging that they were impermissibly denied access to the documents protected by seal and the protective order. The court recognized the Coalition’s right to access the documents, but ruled for expedience sake that the Coalition would be forced to wait until the proceedings were finished for access. Both sets of interveners appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Bauer, J.)