Shook, Hardy & Bacon was recently named a “go-to firm” for railroad litigation in a February 26 Law360 article titled, “4 Go-To Firms For The Railroad Industry.” The article discusses several current lawsuits against railroads; partners Joseph Rebein, John Sherk and Tammy Webb serve as lead counsel for one of these major railroad companies in several lawsuits.
To determine its list, Law360 researched federal litigation involving the eight largest North American railroads and their relevant subsidiaries filed between September 2014 and October 2015. The research excluded cases involving individuals as plaintiffs.
Shook serves as lead defense counsel for a major railroad in a series of proposed class actions and other lawsuits filed by landowners accusing the railroad of misusing the railroad right-of-way.
The landowners allege the right-of-way is an easement, in large part granted by the federal government in the 1800s, permitting surface use of land but limiting subsurface use for railroad purposes - not for oil and gas pipelines. The suits allege the railroad company allowed construction of an underground pipeline along its right-of-way in the 1950s, violating the easement.
This railroad faces lawsuits in several states where the pipeline runs, including Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico. The landowners allege they learned of the issue after a rent dispute concerning the pipeline in California state court.