Case-closed is a saying that is meant as resolved, final, or the end ….except when it comes to Bill Cosby.
In 2006 upon the advice of his attorneys, the comedian, actor and philanthropist settled an alleged sexual assault lawsuit with Andrea Constand for a large undisclosed amount of money.
The settlement confidentiality agreement restricted all parties involved from discussing the case ever again.
Cosby’s then attorneys failed to file a motion to seal with the courts, as a result the case thought to be closed or settled has morphed into a one-sided media circus and ongoing legal battle for Cosby.
Today the 7 women accusing Cosby of defamation received a partial victory, Federal Judge Anita B. Brody in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has granted the women suing Cosby limited access to information from Andrea Constand’s 2005 lawsuit against Cosby, mainly as it pertains to the 7 women themselves and other witnesses in the case.
On a miscellaneous docket in Green v. Cosby, Judge Anita B. Brody on Monday granted in part and denied in part Cosby’s motion to quash a subpoena served on attorney Dolores Troiani, who represents Constand, by a group of women suing Cosby in Massachusetts federal court. Brody granted Cosby’s motion in relation to the disclosure of the confidential settlement agreement between Cosby and Andrea Constand, and the disclosure of information not pertaining to the Massachusetts plaintiffs and other witnesses. But she denied the motion as to materials pertaining to the Massachusetts plaintiffs or other witnesses in the Constand case.
“The existence of the CSA would not trigger plaintiffs’ burden to produce a compelling justification for disclosure of Troiani’s case file because plaintiffs never agreed to the confidentiality of these materials. An agreement between two parties to keep materials confidential cannot block the disclosure of those materials to third parties in discovery,” Brody’s opinion said.
Even if justification were required, Brody said, the women have justification because their sexual assault allegations against Cosby are similar to those brought by Constand, and they were investigated as potential witnesses in Constand v. Cosby.
Attorneys for Massachusetts plaintiffs Tamara Green, Therese Serignese and Linda Traitz served a subpoena on Troiani in May 2015, seeking any documents that concern or relate to the plaintiffs. Cosby moved to quash that subpoena, and his motion was held in abeyance during a stay on discovery, until it was quashed due to the passage of time. The plaintiffs served another subpoena in December, which was the subject of Brody’s opinion and order.
Contributors Jen Vickers & Kia Soto