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those who have settled with gas companies following a spill or other accident are forbidden to disclose information to investigators.

I guess it's worth to re-post this on-topic story from last week here:

Children given lifelong ban on talking about fracking | Environment | The Guardian

Two young children in Pennsylvania were banned from talking about fracking for the rest of their lives under a gag order imposed under a settlement reached by their parents with a leading oil and gas company.

The sweeping gag order was imposed under a $750,000 settlement between the Hallowich family and Range Resources Corp, a leading oil and gas driller. It provoked outrage on Monday among environmental campaigners and free speech advocates.

The settlement, reached in 2011 but unsealed only last week, barred the Hallowichs' son and daughter, who were then aged 10 and seven, from ever discussing fracking or the Marcellus Shale, a leading producer in America's shale gas boom.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Aug 9th, 2013 at 03:09:02 AM EST
Not counting the legal weight, what is the difference between this "settlement," and bribery?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Aug 9th, 2013 at 03:51:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From what I've been seeing going on in Pennsylvania, I'm beginning to wonder if anyone there understands US due process requirements.  A settlement is not supposed to be binding on people who lack capacity unless an independent attorney (a guardian ad litem) makes a report to the court that the settlement is in their best interest.  I don't know why the judge didn't do that.
by rifek on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 04:46:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does that mean the settlement is unenforceable on the children?

Finance is the brain [tumour] of the economy
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Aug 10th, 2013 at 04:53:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know what sort of Bronze Age justice they have in Pennsylvania, but in jurisdictions displaying any form of civilization, you can't bind children without an independent advisor making a report to the court that it's in their best interest.
by rifek on Wed Aug 14th, 2013 at 10:43:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is conceivable that the parties could find, (found?) a guardian ad litem who would decide that their parents receipt of the $750,000 would be sufficiently in the interests of the children's family as to be in the interests of the children as well. It certainly doesn't speak well of the parents that they accepted this provision.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 14th, 2013 at 11:41:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A mitigating circumstance for the parents might be a need to sell their property and move for the sake of their children's health.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 15th, 2013 at 12:25:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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