never sought to be represented by different trial counsel, and through his participation in the global settlement he is still a part of the common group represented by a central group of attorneys.
Second, Schneider, like all the other infant plaintiffs, cannot claim a medical or physician-patient privilege for information discovered and introduced as evidence during the litigation. Schneider's claim that the exhibit, which was introduced into evidence at his trial, "violates medical and attorney/client privileges and the privacy" of the plaintiffs is without foundation. The particular information to which Schneider refers is in the public record.
Finally, the Court finds that Schneider is equitably estopped from asserting a privilege over this information. The studies of the plaintiffs as a group include what would normally be considered private personal information about many plaintiffs, including Schneider. Schneider accepted the benefits of these studies, first when he became one of only three plaintiffs to receive a partial judgment after trial, and second when he accepted his $100,000 distribution from the global settlement, a settlement that was made possible by this common litigation strategy.
Schneider expresses concern that the information about his future medical condition, which must be submitted periodically to the trustee under the trust, will be used in future litigation. Such a use of this information is not necessarily inappropriate.
There is no reason why Schneider, who himself benefitted from such information about other plaintiffs, should be allowed to withdraw his cooperation from those members of the group who were not so fortunate as to be "first in line" for trial. The fact that the Schneider child's case has now been settled while others remain pending is to some degree the result of random factors, including the fact that Schneider was adopted by American rather than foreign parents and the order in which the cases were tried. The principal of equitable estoppel therefore applies to the use of this information as well.
The Court is concerned, however, that the reporting requirements under the trust not be abused. The guardian ad litem is therefore instructed to modify the reporting provisions in the trust so as to provide that medical reports and other private information about an individual plaintiff may be received in complete form only by the Co-Trustee, the Trustee, their medical consultant, and plaintiffs' counsel. It may also be divulged to anyone by consent of that plaintiff's personal representatives. Information drawn from periodic reports from the plaintiffs may be provided to others for the purposes of litigation only after removal of names and other identifying information. Information from which identifying information has not been removed may be further disclosed, introduced at trial, or used for nonlitigation purposes only with prior leave of the Court.
Any plaintiff whose personal representatives do not wish to submit the periodic reports required by the trust and by the disbursement orders granting the $100,000 individual distributions may cease to do so. However, any plaintiff for whom such reports are not received will, as a result of his voluntary withdrawal from the group,
cease to be a beneficiary under the trust, and will be ineligible for disbursements from the trust for catastrophe needs, insurance, or any per capita distribution.