United States District Court Judge William B. Schubb (Eastern District of California) denied, for the second time in the suit, a motion for class certification in a suit contesting the use of railroad right-of-ways by Qwest Communications International, Inc. (and other companies) to install fiber optic lines. Regan v. Qwest Communications Intern., Inc., 2010 WL 3941471 (E.D.Cal. Oct. 5, 2010). The Court found that typicality issues of individual land ownership and the commonality problems relating to the many statutes conveying land in different ways were insurmountable problems. For example, the Court said the following:
With regard to the miles of right-of-way subject to private conveyances, plaintiffs argue the individual deeds can be placed in groups based on common conveyance language and the court can decide motions for partial summary judgment with respect to each group on the fee versus easement issue. While plaintiffs have submitted a handful of such conveyances from the same railroad route in Kings County, California in order to show that these conveyances can use identical or similar language, (Ex. to Supp. Millea Aff. (Docket No. 193) Ex. B), the court has no evidence that there is a limited range of granting language or that there will be a limited number of potential deed “groups.” See Kirkman v. N.C. R. Co., 220 F.R.D. 40 (M.D.N.C.2004). When the private conveyances number somewhere between five hundred and two thousand, spanning hundreds of miles and multiple railroad routes, plaintiffs' offering is no assurance that interpretation of private deeds is a “common” issue at all.
Slip op., at 7.