Cases & Deals

Coalition of hospitals and patients obtain Eleventh Circuit decision unsealing documents

Client(s) Coalition of hospitals and patients

On behalf of a coalition of hospitals and patients that are challenging a fundamental change in the way donated organs are allocated, Jones Day obtained an Eleventh Circuit decision unsealing certain documents related to the litigation. The change in how organs are allocated was adopted by a federal government contractor (the United Network for Organ Sharing, or “UNOS”) and approved by the Department of Health & Human Services. In the course of the litigation, certain documents indicative of bad faith on the part of the contractor came to light. The district court rejected a request by the contractor to seal those documents from public view, but UNOS appealed. In November 2021, the Eleventh Circuit issued a published opinion affirming the district court and ordering that the materials be unsealed. The court held that unsealing orders are subject to immediate appeal, rejected UNOS’s argument that the documents at issue were not “judicial records” presumptively open to public access, and concluded that the district judge had reasonably balanced the relevant factors in determining that the documents should be released.

Callahan et al. v. United Network for Organ Sharing, No. 20-13932 (11th Cir.)