Gag Order Placed on KidsAdded: Monday, August 19th, 2013
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You may know that gag orders can be met in all sorts of court cases, including those involving sensitive data, but they are rarely applied to kids and last a lifetime. It seems that US lawyers are really pushing the envelope, as they ordered a lifelong gag on two children, 7 and 10 years old, which prevents them from discussing fracking for good.
The children ended up with the gag order after their family reached a $750,000 settlement with an oil and gas company accused of wrecking their farm in Pennsylvania. The defendant appeared to be a big player in the state’s shale gas boom, which placed some industrial facilities right next to their farm. The list of facilities included 4 gas wells, gas compressor stations and even a waste pond.
In result, the family had to take the company to court, complaining that their water supply was contaminated after its operations. The case ended in a settlement reached two years ago and unsealed in the beginning of this August. According to the settlement, the plaintiffs had to sign a gag order, which is quite common for a cash handout. The unusual part was that the order was also extended to include a couple of kids.
The father of the family explained that it might appear difficult to make sure the kids keep silence on fracking, first of all because they have no idea what fracking or a gag order is. Another problem is that they are only 7 and 10 years old – the family’s attorney admitted he had never seen a gag order imposed on kids in his thirty years of practicing law.
In response, the attorney representing the oil and gas company reaffirmed that they sought the gag order, and remain the position it applies to the whole family. They are intended to certainly enforce it. However, after the order was made public, the company is now facing bad press and is making attempts to distance itself from comments made by its legal team.
August 19th,2013Posted by:
Monday, August 19th, 2013
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