May
23

Lawsuit Approves Illinois Landowner’s Right of Way to Collect

May 23, 2011

Current and former owners of land located next to or under railroad Rights of Way in Illinois may be eligible for a cash payment thanks to a class action settlement.

The case of McDaniel v. Qwest Communications Corp. involves fiber-optic cable and related telecommunications equipment installed in railroad Rights of Way throughout Illinois.

The suit claims that the Defendants — telecommunications companies Sprint, Qwest, Level 3, WilTel Communications and their predecessors — buried fiber-optic cable and installed related telecommunications equipment within railroad Rights of Way in Illinois beginning in the mid-1980s.

A railroad Right of Way is a strip of land on which a railroad company builds and operates a railroad. The Defendants entered into agreements with the railroads that own and occupy the Rights of Way, and under those agreements paid the railroads for the rights to install the fiber optic cable and related telecommunications equipment within the Rights of Way.

According to the Plaintiffs, the Defendants were also required to obtain consent from those who owned the land under the Rights of Way before installing the fiber optic cable and related telecommunications equipment.

The Defendants deny any wrongdoing, claiming the railroads had the right to use the Rights of Way without further permission from adjoining landowners.

Apparently, that is not the case. Class Counsel announced that a proposed settlement was granted by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

If the court approves the settlement, those eligible to receive a cash payment will be residents who owned land next to or under a railroad Right of Way at any time since the cable was installed in these counties:

*Cook

*DuPage

*Kane

*Lake

*Grundy

*Will

*DeKalb

*Champaign

*Clinton

*DeWitt

*Jersey

*Lawrence

*Lee

*Livingston

*Logan

*Macoupin

*Madison

*McLean

*Menard

*Ogle

*Peoria

*Piatt

*Sangamon

*St. Clair

*Tazewell

*Whiteside

*Woodford

If you own land near a Right of Way in Illinois, you can find out more about this settlement, including when fiber-optic cable was installed by you. Visit IllinoisFiberSettlement.com or call (800) 589-1427 for more information.

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