2-6-1020. Concealment of public hazards prohibited -- concealment of information related to settlement or resolution of civil suits prohibited. (1) This section may be cited as the "Gus Barber Antisecrecy Act".
(2) As used in this section, "public hazard" means a device, instrument, or manufactured product or a condition of a device, instrument, or manufactured product that endangers public safety or health and has caused injury, as defined in 27-1-106.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a court may not enter a final order or judgment that has the purpose or effect of concealing a public hazard.
(4) Any portion of a final order or judgment entered or a written final settlement agreement entered into that has the purpose or effect of concealing a public hazard is contrary to public policy, is void, and may not be enforced. This section does not prohibit the parties from keeping the monetary amount of a written final settlement agreement confidential.
(5) A party to civil litigation may not request, as a condition to the production of discovery, that another party stipulate to an order that would violate this section.
(6) This section does not apply to:
(a) trade secrets, as defined in 30-14-402, that are not pertinent to public hazards and that are protected pursuant to Title 30, chapter 14, part 4;
(b) other information that is confidential under state or federal law; or
(c) a health care provider, as defined in 27-6-103.
(7) Any affected person, including but not limited to a representative of the news media, has standing to contest a final order or judgment or written final settlement agreement that violates this section by motion in the court in which the case was filed.
(8) The court shall examine the disputed information or materials in camera. If the court finds that the information or materials or portions of the information or materials consist of information concerning a public hazard, the court shall allow disclosure of the information or materials. If allowing disclosure, the court shall allow disclosure of only that portion of the information or materials necessary or useful to the public concerning the public hazard.
(9) This section does not apply to a protective order issued under Rule 26(c) of the Montana Rules of Civil Procedure or to any materials produced under the order. Materials used as exhibits may be publicly disclosed pursuant to the provisions of subsections (7) and (8).
History: En. Sec. 12, Ch. 348, L. 2015.