Practice Area: Real estate
Outcome: Railroad prevailed because easement desired by pipeline company was not located in the manner most compatible with the greatest public good.
Description: A railroad and a pipeline company had a dispute over whether a pipeline existing in the railroad's right-of-way should be moved before the railroad built a second track in the right-of-way. The pipeline company refused to move the pipeline and filed a lawsuit to condemn a five-foot easement around the existing location of the pipeline. The parties agreed to employ a retired judge to decide the case as a referee. The referee filed a written statement of decision holding that the proposed easement was not located in the manner most compatible with the greatest public good as required by section 1240.030, subdivision (b) and, accordingly, ruled in favor of the railroad.