Hardin County Drainage Dist. 55 v. Union Pac. R.R. Co.Annotate this Case
In 2007, Hardin County Drainage District 55 provided Union Pacific Railroad Company with statutory notice requiring the railroad to rebuild and reconstruct damaged subterranean drainage tile found under the railroad's roadbed. Railroads are statutorily required to pay for the construction and maintenance of culverts and bridges occurring at natural waterways on the railroad's right-of-way. Union Pacific countered that the underground drainage tiles were not "culverts" as defined by the relevant statute. The district court entered judgment for the drainage district, finding the railroad breached its statutory duty to repair the drainage tile. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the drainage tile did not fit the statutory definition of a culvert, and thus the railroad was not obligated to pay for the repairs. Remanded.