TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Judge says Washington County drilling lawsuit is public record

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 6:54 p.m.
 

A judge in Washington County said the public has the right to see a sealed settlement between gas drilling companies and a family that claimed the companies' operations damaged their health.

Judge Debbie O'Dell-Seneca ruled on Wednesday that openness in the court system is more important than the interests of the companies. The settlement paid out $750,000, including more than $150,000 in legal fees.

Stephanie and Chris Hallowich initiated a case against Range Resources, MarkWest Energy Partners and Williams Gas/Laurel Mountain Midstream Partners in 2010.

The sides settled their dispute in July 2011, but the companies asked that the records be sealed, and another judge agreed.

Media organizations challenged that decision, and O'Dell-Seneca ruled in their favor.

Range Resources spokesman Matt Pitzarella said in a statement, “Range does not have concerns with the judge's decision, which we greatly respect, to make the court file public. This information combined with the vast public data accessible through the DEP's extensive investigations should provide the public with even greater clarity that shale gas is being developed safely and responsibly.”

Trib Total Media staffwriter Timothy Puko contributed to this story.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Steelers defensive end Tuitt shifts into high gear
  2. Rossi: Pirates foolish to bet on Burnett return
  3. Rain postpones Pirates-Cubs game
  4. Steelers notebook: No decision on surgery for rookie CB Golson
  5. Steelers’ Mitchell taking cautious approach about dealing with injuries
  6. MLB Notebook: Passport snag strikes Twins call-up
  7. Storms knock out power to thousands of customers in Western Pa.
  8. Pirates notebook: Trade movement confidence booster for Morse
  9. Authorities identify 2 men killed in fiery crash in Pittsburgh
  10. Thirsty pit bull turned on Arnold neighbors
  11. Pitt’s Boyd, Blair suspended for Youngstown State game