Sealing court documents prevents families from learning about dangerous products and is harmful to the public interest. Congress is considering the Sunshine In Litigation Act to end the practice and promote family safety.
Here's an example according to the American Association for Justice: Bausch & Lomb has settled more than 600 contact lens solution cases in the last year. The solution is said to cause fungus infections and can cause blindness. Yet Bausch & Lomb forced all court documents in the case to remain sealed, keeping contact solution users and doctors without any knowledge of the causes of the infections. Among the sealed documents are internal investigations into the cause of the fungus infections and details of outdated company testing procedures used for market approval-standards which are widely used by other contact solution manufacturers. Read here the AAJ's press release: Loophole In the Courts Leaves Dangerous Products On the Market: Car Tires and Contact Lens Solution Just Two Examples.
Another example is a lawsuit filed against Cooper Tires contending defects allowed the tread to separate from the tires and caused the deadly rollover that killed eight students and a teacher from Utah State University. A key piece of evidence is a memo that the lawyer representing the families located in a court record in Mississippi. The memo shows that Cooper Tires did away with the basic safety feature that would have prevented the deadly tire separations and associated rollover problems. The families' lawyer, Bruce Kaster, testified to the House Judiciary Committee: "Tens of thousands of Americans, if not hundreds of thousands, have been killed or seriously injured by defective products that manufacturers are aware of, but the public is not," because they manage to seal sensitive documents in court. The Deseret News reports further: Do Courts Sanction Suit Secrets?