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Ryan v. Southern Natural Gas Co.

879 F.2d 162 (1989)

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Ryan v. Southern Natural Gas Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

879 F.2d 162 (1989)

Facts

The Harrisons (plaintiffs) owned land in Louisiana and granted a servitude over their land to the Southern Natural Gas Company (SNG) (defendant). The servitude allowed SNG to construct a pipeline canal on two sections of the Harrisons’ land. The servitude agreement explicitly provided that SNG was required to backfill or dam the canal in one section but was entitled to leave the canal open in the other section. Over time, water from this open section of the canal caused erosion and salt-water damage to the Harrisons’ land. Approximately two decades after the creation of the servitude, the Harrisons requested that SNG dam the open part of the canal. SNG refused, and the Harrisons sued SNG for the damage to their land. The trial court found that SNG had been negligent in failing to dam the canal and awarded damages to the Harrisons. SNG appealed. At some point, the Ryans (plaintiffs) acquired land affected by the damage from the Harrisons and became parties to the suit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Davis, J.)

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