Wednesday, November 21, 2007, 11/21/2007 08:48:00 AM

Allstate: Win the Case, Lose the Trade Secrets Battle

From the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader, a story about a trial won by Allstate in which it looks like it will lose the issue of whether its claimed trade secrets will be made public.

A judge in Fayette County, Kentucky has ruled that secret company documents shown during a civil trial challenging Allstate's claims practices should be made public.

The documents date back to 1992, when Allstate hired consulting firm McKinsey & Co. to overhaul how the insurance giant handled claims. Trial lawyers later claimed the 12,500 PowerPoint slides were a blueprint for cheating injury victims.

Jurors in the Kentucky case, however, found in favor of Allstate in a $1.425 billion lawsuit filed by one Geneva Hager.

According to the story, "Allstate has fought to keep the documents secret, and has previously defied court orders in three states to produce them without protective orders. The Illinois-based insurer says they contain valuable trade secrets. Circuit Judge Thomas Clark said the several dozen documents introduced at trial were shown in a public hearing and should not be covered by a protective order. But the documents that were not introduced will remain under seal."

Allstate attorney Mindy Barfield indicated that she will appeal the ruling.

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