WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) - A western Pennsylvania judge says a former colleague didn't follow normal procedure in sealing court documents in a high-profile case over alleged gas drilling pollution.
The Hallowich family claimed the value of their home was wiped out by natural gas drilling on neighboring properties, and they settled a lawsuit against three companies in August 2011. The companies denied they caused pollution.
Judge Debbie O'Dell Seneca says Friday that the original judge in the case may not have cautioned lawyers that their secret agreements could be open to the public.
The settlement contained a gag order but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Observer-Reporter of Washington, Pa. sought to have that overturned, saying the details should be open.
O'Dell Seneca says she'll issue a ruling after reviewing past documents in the case.
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