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Algonquin Coal Co. v. Northern Coal & Iron Co.

162 Pa. 114, 29 A. 402 (1894)

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Algonquin Coal Co. v. Northern Coal & Iron Co.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

162 Pa. 114, 29 A. 402 (1894)

Facts

Prior to 1801, Thomas Wright owned the surface and subsurface of certain land. In 1801, Wright sold the land to Henry Courtright. Wright conveyed the land to Courtright with a deed that contained the clause that Wright reserved for “himself, his heirs and assignees, a free toleration of getting coal for their own use, without hindrance or denial.” An individual, Myers, acquired Courtright’s title by adverse possession. Myers transferred his interest to Northern Coal & Iron Co. (Northern Coal) (defendant). Algonquin Coal Co. (Algonquin) (plaintiff) was the assignor or holder of Wright’s title. Algonquin claimed that under the reservation clause of the deed, Algonquin had an exclusive right to mine all the coal. Northern Coal claimed that any right to take coal from the land was an incorporeal one to be exercised concurrently with Northern Coal’s right, and to no greater extent than may be necessary “for their own use.” The district court found in favor of Northern Coal. Algonquin appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Williams, J.)

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