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Judge bars public from secret federal hearing in Wolverine Worldwide contamination lawsuit

A rusty barrel in the woods
Bryce Huffman
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A secret federal hearing will determine whether Wolverine Worldwide has to extend municipal water to residents whose groundwater was contaminated by the company's tannery in West Michigan.

A judge ruled the public won't be allowed in the courtroom for the "summary jury trial" next month.

The judicial proceeding is rarely used. The jury delivers a non-binding verdict that's used in settlement talks so it's sometimes referred to as a mock trial.

The judge provided no reason for the decision to MLive, which reported on the secret meeting.

That surprised attorneys for Plainfield Township. The township is a co-plaintiff in the state of Michigan's case against Wolverine.

Lauren Talley is Michigan Radio’s Morning Edition producer. She produces and edits studio interviews and feature stories, and helps manage the “Mornings in Michigan” series. Lauren also serves as the lead substitute host for Morning Edition.
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