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Moser v. United States Steel Corp.

Supreme Court of Texas
676 S.W.2d 99 (Tex. 1984)


Facts

The Gefferts (defendants) owned a 6.77 acre tract of land that was separated from the rest of the Gefferts’ ranch by a road. The Gefferts conveyed the surface rights of these 6.77 acres to the Mosers (plaintiffs), whose ranch was adjacent to the Gefferts’ ranch on the other side of the road. In the deed, the Gefferts reserved rights to all of the “oil, gas, and other minerals of every kind and character” in and under the land. Subsequently, substantial amounts of uranium were found in the land. The Mosers brought suit to quiet title, arguing that they owned the uranium on account of its proximity to the surface. The Gefferts counterclaimed that they owned the uranium as a type of “other mineral” under the deed. The trial court found in favor of the Gefferts based on the test from Reed v. Wylie, 554 S.W.2d 169 (Tex. 1977), which analyzed the extent of destruction of the surface in extracting minerals. The Texas Court of Civil Appeals affirmed based on a modified Reed test, adopted in Reed v. Wylie, 597 S.W.2d 743 (Tex. 1980). The Mosers appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Campbell, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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