Property owners win silver comet trail lawsuits
Several property owners along the Silver Comet Trail are jubilant after their Attorneys successfully argued that the government is responsible for compensating them for land that would have gone to their clients were it not for the trail. Three property owners, out of the 10 who originally filed a lawsuit, reached a settlement with the federal government two weeks ago.
This major settlement follows claims that were filed in federal court by Plaintiffs who asserted they had a right to the land once the CSX Railroad abandoned the easement property in 2019. Similar news reporting suggests the land in question abuts the former CSX rail line between the East-West Connector and Plant Atkinson Road.
Records dating back as far as the early 1900’s reflect that the CSX Railroad began acquiring easement land for the railroad in 1903 and abandoned it in 2019. Once they left, the property owners – comprised of individuals and companies – argued that the land should have been returned to them. Instead, it was taken for the Silver Comet Trail.
The Trail, which is enjoyed by walkers and cyclists alike, begins in Smyrna and continues to the Alabama state line. Citing federal laws, the Attorneys relied on the National Trails System Act and other federal laws which call for the government to compensate for the land that would have gone to their clients were it not for the trail. The federal government awarded $700,000 to three of the plaintiffs, while the other lawsuits in this matter remain pending.
The settlement between the parties was reached two weeks ago with details remaining confidential. News sources are suggesting that the figures are well over $700,000.