Update (January 5, 2017): The Court (U.S. District Court Judge Susan R. Nelson (D. Minn.)) has postponed the hearing on summary judgment in the Rumble v. Fairview case described below in light of the recent development of an injunction issuing from a federal court in Texas (link below at bottom of original post). Linked here, the Court’s order explaining the circumstances (and the next steps required of the lawyers in the case).
Original post (January 4, 2017): Minnesota Litigator has not spent a lot of time digging into the lawsuit of Jakob Rumbler vs. Fairview Health Services, et al. (although the case was the subject of one earlier post on a skirmish about whether the plaintiff could have access to notes taken by an agent of the defendant (or whether they were “attorney work product” immune from discovery).
Minnesota Litigator has not spend more time on the Rumble case because a great many of the papers filed in the case have been filed under seal, unavailable for review or comment.
This confidentiality is understandable. The case involves highly personal and private details, medical information, and medical treatment. The case involves the treatment that Jakob Rumble, a transgender man, received when he went to the Fairview Hospital emergency room suffering from a high fever and extreme pain from a urinary tract infection.
On the other hand, the case has drawn the attention of a large number of “amici curiae:” the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, World Professional Association for Transgender Health, Family Tree Clinic, Whitman-Walker Health, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. — that is, so-called “friends of the court.” These amici are analogous to lobbyists for the legislature. That is, they are representatives of special interest groups that recognize a single case could have significant and broad implications to others (whether hospitals, doctors, nurses, transgender patients, or others).
Fortunately, for those interested in the cutting edge legal issues confronting U.S. District Court Judge Susan R. Nelson (D. Minn.) in the case, Jakob Rumble’s opposition brief to Defendants’ motions for summary judgment was recently filed publicly (not under seal). For anyone interested in this area of law, I recommend reading this extremely well-written brief by a large legal team, headed up by lawyers from Robins Kaplan LLP and Gender Justice.
Moreover, just yesterday, one party brought the court’s attention to a federal district court in Texas that might have an impact on the case in Minnesota (see here and here).