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Raven Red Ash Coal Co. v. Ball

Supreme Court of Virginia
39 S.E.2d 231 (1946)


Facts

Reuben Sparks owned a 265-acre parcel. Sparks had conveyed the parcel’s coal and mineral rights to Joseph Doran and William Dick. The deed giving the coal rights to Doran and Dick also gave them an easement to pass over Sparks’s property to reach an adjacent 3,000 acres owned by Doran and Dick for the purpose of mining and removing coal. Estil Ball (plaintiff) acquired part of the 265-acre parcel that had been owned by Reuben Sparks and that served as the servient estate for the coal-transportation easement. Raven Red Ash Coal Co. (Raven) (defendant) leased the coal interests from Doran and Dick and built a tramway over the easement. Raven subsequently acquired coal and mineral rights on five additional properties. During the past five years, Raven transported 950,000 tons of coal from the original 3,000 acres owned by Doran and Dick across Ball’s property. However, Raven also transported 49,016 tons of coal from the five additional properties across Ball’s property. Ball sued Raven seeking $5,000 for the increased easement use. The jury awarded Ball $500 as damages for the increased use. Raven appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Hudgins, 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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