Pipeline Trespass Lawsuit

Stueve Siegel Hanson and Stewart Wald & McCulley are representing landowners in the Western United States whose land has been trespassed upon by Union Pacific Railroad Company and Kinder Morgan / Santa Fe Pacific Pipelines for operation of a petroleum pipeline. The firms have been appointed interim lead class counsel by the federal courts in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada for the putative classes of landowners in those states.

Railroad companies normally only have a surface easement over and across land to operate a railroad, and the adjacent landowners typically own the land underneath the railroad line. More particularly, landowners own the rights to the land to the center of the railroad right-of-way (if a landowner owns land on both sides of the right-of-way, then the landowner owns the entire subsurface of the right-of-way). These lawsuits allege that the railroad does not own the land under its tracks; the adjacent landowners, who are the plaintiffs in the four cases, own the land beneath the railway.

The lawsuits allege that since the 1950s, Union Pacific has claimed to grant illegal subsurface easements for a pipeline to run beneath a railroad line running approximately 1,800 miles from El Paso, Texas, across New Mexico, Arizona, and California, and into Nevada and Oregon. The railroad accepted huge sums of money for “rent” that legally is owed to the adjacent landowners. The pipeline companies took advantage of these illegitimate easements by installing and operating a pipeline on land owned by the adjacent landowners, which means the pipeline is trespassing. 

If you own or owned land along Union Pacific’s existing or former railroad line in California, Arizona, New Mexico, or Nevada, please contact us immediately by completing the form on this page or by calling us toll-free at 1-888-756-6496.

For additional resources about the pipeline’s trespass and the railroad’s taking of money owed to landowners, please go to www.pipelinetrespass.com

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