Court bars publication of Business Week article
OHIO–McGraw-Hill, publisher of Business Week magazine, in late September filed a request for an expedited appeal asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a restraining order which bars the magazine from publishing information relating to a lawsuit between Bankers Trust New York Corporation and Proctor & Gamble.
Business Week remains gagged from publishing its article for a second week after a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals in Cincinnati (6th Cir.), dismissed an appeal by the magazine on September 19, claiming lack of jurisdiction.
The magazine was originally gagged by federal District Court Judge John Feikems in Cincinnati on Wednesday, September 13. The order restraining publication of the article was filed at 5:45 p.m. September 13 and received by McGraw-Hill at 6 p.m. the evening of its final deadline. According to McGraw-Hill, the publisher was not given any opportunity to present its side of the case before the order was imposed.
The court said that the documents and information at issue were sealed under a protective order before the Business Week article was written, and the information had been obtained “in a manner not authorized by the Protective Order.” McGraw-Hill insists that the information at issue was based on court records which were legally acquired through a confidential source, and with no knowledge that the information was subject to a protective order by the court.
The court ruled that publication of the material at issue would do permanent and irreparable damage to both parties. Both the order restraining publication and the original protective order which sealed the information of the court were issued at the request of both Proctor & Gamble and Bankers Trust.
The details of the Business Week article remain undisclosed pending the outcome of the appeal. The suit between Proctor & Gamble and Bankers Trust concerns the manufacturer’s claim that the investment company sold it derivatives without accurately reporting their speculative nature. According to a Bankers Trust statement, the information subject to the protective order is linked to Proctor & Gamble’s attempt to amend its pending complaint against Bankers Trust to include a civil racketeering claim. (The McGraw-Hill Companies v. Bankers Trust Corp., et al.; Media Counsel: Kenneth M. Vittor, New York)