WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The following class-action Settlement is being announced by Court-approved Notice-program designer, Kinsella Media LLC:
A federal court has granted preliminary approval for a class-action Settlement involving fiber-optic cable and related telecommunications equipment that has been installed in railroad Rights of Way. This Settlement resolves a lawsuit in Massachusetts, and will provide cash benefits to current and former owners of land next to or under the Rights of Way.
Sprint, CenturyLink (formerly Qwest), and WilTel, the Defendants, are telecommunications companies. Beginning in the mid-1980s, the companies or their predecessors buried fiber-optic cable and installed related telecommunications equipment within railroad Rights of Way nationwide. 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.
Plaintiffs allege that, before installing the fiber-optic cable and related telecommunications equipment, the Defendants also were required to obtain consent from those landowners who owned the land under the Rights of Way. The Defendants contend that the railroads had the right to allow them to use the Rights of Way without the need for further permission from the adjoining landowners and deny any wrongdoing.
Class Members include current or previous owners of land next to or under a railroad Right of Way, at any time since the cable was installed in the state of Massachusetts. Settlements have previously been reached in an additional 42 states.
Class members can find out when fiber-optic cable was installed in a particular Right of Way by visiting www.FiberOpticSettlements.com/Massachusetts or calling 1-800-419-5232. Class members will have an opportunity to claim cash benefits if the Court approves the Proposed Settlement.
The Proposed Settlement will provide cash payments to qualifying class members based on various factors that include:
- the length of property they own next to the railroad the Right of Way,
- the length of time they owned the property,
- the current status of the railroad Right of Way, and
- the number of people who co-own the property.
The Proposed Settlement will also provide the Defendants with a permanent Telecommunications Easement, which gives them the right to use the railroad Rights of Way for their fiber-optic cable and related telecommunications equipment, if they don't already have that right.
For more information regarding the Class Actions visit www.FiberOpticSettlements.com/Massachusetts, or call 1-800-419-5232.
SOURCE Kinsella Media, LLC