What is a pipeline lawsuit?
Our firm has filed and will file actions on behalf of landowners who own property adjacent to the Union Pacific railroad tracks beneath which the pipeline runs in the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, and Oregon. The defendants are Union Pacific Railroad Company, SFPP, L.P. (formerly known as Santa Fe Pacific Pipelines, Inc.), Kinder Morgan Operating L.P. “D”, and Kinder Morgan G.P., Inc.
Following decades of litigation between Union Pacific railroad and affiliates of Kinder Morgan pipelines, the California Court of Appeals for the Second District issued a significant opinion on November 5, 2014. If you own land adjacent to a Union Pacific Railroad line, this decision may affect your legal rights.
Railroads generally occupy land pursuant to rights-of-way or easements. In the Western states, these rights-of-way exist predominantly by virtue of U.S. Congressional acts that granted the railroads the right to use the surface of the land, but not to use the subsurface for commercial gain. Additionally, some parts of the railroad’s right-of-way were acquired by private easement, which would usually grant the railroad only a right to use the surface of the land for railroad purposes, and would not give it the right to rent out the subsurface. The railroad, however, collected rents of more than $100 million over the years since the pipeline was built, largely from Kinder Morgan. Based on our analysis of the new California decision, those rents should have been paid to the rightful owner of the property, namely the plaintiffs in our lawsuits.
Do I have a claim?
If you own property adjacent to the railroad’s right of way, you may have a claim. In many cases, you would own the ground underneath the railroad right of way where the railroad improperly constructed a key oil pipeline. You, rather than the railroad, may have the right to collect rents for the use of the pipeline.
What is my claim worth?
While every claim is different, we will be happy to discuss the potential value of your claim. Numerous factors influence the size of a potential claim, including the value of each plaintiff’s impacted property, the state in which the claim is filed, the underlying legal basis for the original land grant and the overall status of your title to the property.
How long will it take?
Complex lawsuits like this one are rarely resolved quickly. They can take as little as one or two years, but typically stretch over a longer timeframe. Many factors influence how quickly a lawsuit progresses, from attorney effort to judicial cooperation. At BSCR we do our best to move cases along quickly and efficiently, while best preserving our client’s legal rights and right to recovery.
How much will this cost me?
Our firm represents plaintiffs on a contingent fee basis. We would be happy to discuss the details of our fee agreement with you.
Why should I choose BSCR attorneys to represent me?
Our firm has successfully represented thousands of landowners all across the country in cases involving property rights along railroad rights-of-way. We are well-versed in the areas of complex litigation, class actions and multi-district litigation. We will vigorously contest this lawsuit on your behalf and do our best to obtain a fair and favorable result for you, our client.