LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – A California appeals court's mixed-bag ruling has affirmed that a trial court correctly granted a request to compel a football helmet maker to produce privilege logs previously withheld.

The California Court of Appeal Second Appellate District decision stems from a lawsuit in which several former pro football players alleged they “suffered long-term neurological damage from repeated head injuries as a result of wearing Riddell helmets while playing football.”

Among others, Riddell’s subsequent suit named ACE American Insurance Co. as a defendant and argued that the company was owed defense and indemnity coverage by virtue of all the underlying legal machinations that have played out throughout litigation.

“We agree with the Insurers that Riddell must provide privilege logs of documents withheld in document productions that have already occurred,” the court ruled. 

“We accordingly grant the petition and direct the trial court to vacate its order on the Insurers’ motions to compel and enter a new order granting the motions as to the privilege logs only.”

In a semi-victory for Riddell, the Aug. 23 ruling also stipulated that “the discovery at issue is logically related to factual issues in the third-party actions and that a stay of that discovery is therefore appropriate.”

The appeals court decision thus directed the trial court to vacate its original order to compel and enter a new ruling granting the motions related to just privilege logs, while also mandating that the trial court “grant Riddell’s request for a stay of the discovery at issue.”

In an order signed by Judge John Shephard Wiley, the court also established that rendering a confidentiality order for the proceedings was not sufficient in insuring that Riddell would be protected from all possible instances of prejudice.

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