Franks Investment Co, L.L.C. v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., No. 13-30990 (5th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
This case arose from a dispute between Franks and Union Pacific over whether Franks has the right to cross Union Pacific's train tracks on certain property in Caddo Parish originally owned by the Levy family at the turn of the 20th Century. On appeal, Franks challenged the district court's final judgment granting summary judgment for defendant and dismissing Franks's claims with prejudice. Franks argued that the district court erred in denying the existence of a predial servitude in the three crossings at issue. The court concluded that, under the law applicable to the interpretation of the 1923 deed, the contract is unambiguous; it does not establish a predial servitude with respect to Texas and Pacific Railway Company's obligation to provide three crossings across what was then its property; but, rather, it is merely a personal obligation which does not bind the railway's successors-in-interest.