Court-Ordered Notice Program Begins to Landowners Who May Have Rights in a Lawsuit About Qwest Fiber Optic Cable

    WASHINGTON, July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- A class action notice program began
 today as ordered by the Illinois Circuit Court for St. Clair County to those
 who own or have owned property underlying or next to railroad rights of way
 where Qwest fiber-optic cable was installed.  Notices will be mailed to at
 least 12,500 landowners in Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota,
 Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin, and widely published in the media.
     The notices are a result of the Court establishing, or "certifying," a
 class action lawsuit against Qwest Communications International, Inc., Qwest
 Communications Corporation, USLD Communications Corporation and Qwest Network
 Construction Services involving the use and operation of the fiber-optic
 cable.
     This lawsuit is about whether Qwest unlawfully trespassed on land owned by
 Class Members.  Qwest installed fiber-optic cable on railroad rights of way
 throughout the eight states involved in this class action.  Qwest made
 contracts with railroads and paid money to railroads to get permission from
 the railroads to install the fiber-optic cable.  Qwest did not get permission
 from the landowners who owned the land under or next to the railroad right of
 way.  The lawsuit claims that the agreements that Qwest had with railroads did
 not give them the rights they needed to lawfully use the property without also
 getting permission from the landowners in the Class.
     Qwest denies the claims against them, and claim that Class Members are not
 entitled to compensation.
     The Class includes those who own or owned property in Illinois, Iowa,
 Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin, under or next to
 railroad rights of way where Qwest installed, operates or uses fiber-optic
 cable.  The landowners are represented by John Massopust and Daniel Millea of
 Zelle, Hofmann, Voelbel, Mason & Gette LLP in Minneapolis, MN; Elizabeth
 Heller of Goldenberg, Miller, Heller & Antognoli, P.C. in Edwardsville, IL;
 Kevin Hoerner of Becker, Paulson, Hoerner & Thompson, P.C. in Belleville, IL;
 Nels Ackerson and Kathleen Kauffman of Ackerson Kauffman Fex, PC in
 Washington, DC; Henry Price of Price, Waicukauski, Riley & DeBrota, LLC in
 Indianapolis, IN; Roger Johnson of Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis &
 Lightfoot, LLP in Washington, DC; and Catherine Colinvaux of Zelle, Hofmann,
 Voelbel, Mason & Gette LLP in Waltham, MA.
     Affected landowners may choose to exclude themselves from any potential
 compensation that may result if Qwest is found liable in the case.  Those who
 wish to stay in the Class don't have to do anything now, and will be able to
 participate in any compensation that may result from the trial or any
 settlement.
     Those who wish to be excluded can send a letter, by September 13, 2005, to
 Qwest Class Action, P.O. Box 130993, Dallas, TX  75313-0993.  Or an exclusion
 request form is available at http://www.qwestfiberopticclassaction.com or by
 writing to the address above.
 
 

SOURCE Illinois Circuit Court for St. Clair County

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