(Adds Walgreens comment)
By Nandita Bose
CHICAGO Nov 6 A Chicago court on Thursday
rejected Walgreens' move to block all disclosures of
what the drugstore chain deems confidential information in a
defamation lawsuit filed by its former chief financial officer.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Franklin Valderrama said
Walgreens, the largest U.S. drugstore chain operator, failed to
convince him that all the allegations were confidential and
called the company's request for a protective order "broad."
He did, however, grant parts of the company's request, and
said most of the elements of the complaint could be sealed.
Former Chief Financial Officer Wade Miquelon, whom the
company replaced in August, sued for defamation, saying news
reports suggested he was personally responsible for a $1 billion
error in an earnings forecast.
Miquelon also said in his suit that Walgreens'
characterizations of him have hurt his efforts to find a new
In declining Walgreens' motion, the judge said the court is
not opposed to a protective order, but found the company's
request "overly protective."
"The whole point of a protective order is to not put a gag
on the plaintiff," Valderrama said.
Chuck Douglas, attorney for Walgreens and partner at Sidley
Austin LLP, said in a statement the court indicated its
willingness to enter a fresh protective order with appropriate
language, which the company hopes to file next week.
"The court's ruling today accepted Walgreens view that the
plaintiff should have filed his complaint under seal... and that
certain portions of the complaint should therefore be redacted,"
Douglas said in a statement.
An attorney for Miquelon, David Bernick of Dechert LLP, said
he was not unhappy with the ruling.
On Wednesday, pension adviser CtW Investment Group said it
asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to probe
whether legal claims made by Miquelon violated securities rules.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose; Editing by Dan Grebler and Lisa