Goodyear Tire & Rubber asked an Arizona judge to call a reporter for auto news site Jalopnik and intone that the reporter should, in the words of Goodyear’s attorney, “do the right thing” and not publish documents related to tire failure.
Ryan Felton of Jalopnik writes, “The judge denied Goodyear’s request, never made that call and we published our story.
“Companies historically have used the courts to try to block the release of sensitive documents, but asking a judge to take the bold approach of calling a reporter directly is virtually unheard of. But the hearing illustrated the lengths to which Goodyear has gone to shield records from the public that document how many times the G159 has failed on the road. Goodyear’s attorney indeed emphasized how important this was to the company, according to an audio recording of the hearing obtained this week.
“‘You know, your honor, how Goodyear has argued and taken measures to protect these documents,’ Goodyear’s attorney, Foster Robberson, said.
“John Hannah, the Maricopa County Superior Court judge overseeing the proceeding, ultimately denied Goodyear’s request, effectively saying it wasn’t his place to call a reporter. But that followed more than an hour of deliberations between Goodyear’s attorney and the court, in which Robberson asserted that I had taken a ‘wholly illegitimate route’ to obtain the documents.”
Read more here.