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Ruling puts magazine closer to publishing sealed documents


DETROIT -- Business Week magazine appeared yesterday a step closer to publishing an article based on sealed court documents in a lawsuit between the Procter & Gamble Co. and Bankers Trust Co.

Since Sept. 12, Business Week has been barred from publishing information from the documents.

The federal judge who issued that order, John Feikens, indicated in a hearing yesterday that he would allow Procter & Gamble to amend its suit in a way that would in effect open the documents, which include information that Bankers Trust prefers remain private.

Judge Feikens did not address his restraining order, saying he would rule on that by Tuesday.

The judge could still rule that Business Week obtained the documents illegally and in violation of the court order sealing them, but the question would be moot if the documents had become public under the amended lawsuit.

The documents in question were filed as an amendment to the lawsuit by Procter & Gamble on Sept. 1, and the filing was done under court seal as part of an agreement between the parties.

Business Week obtained the documents from a confidential source, saying it was unaware of the court seal.

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