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Fayard v. Northeast Vehicle Servs., Ltd. Liab. Co.

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20167
Nos. No. 07-2222, (1st Cir., 07/14/2008)

The First Circuit remanded landowners' nuisance, misrepresentation, and civil conspiracy claims against an automobile distributor to the Massachusetts courts. The landowners filed suit in Massachusetts state court asserting claims against the distributor based on its operation of a rail line and distribution facility. They said that defendant's practices violated representations made to the landowners and state and local environmental and zoning authorities as to various limits on the hours and volume of the operation, and interfered with the landowners' use and enjoyment of their property. The distributor removed the case to federal court. The landowners sought a remand to state court, and the lower court erroneously denied their motion. The Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act (ICCTA) does not "completely preempt" the landowners' nuisance claim. The ICCTA does not provide a clear cut federal cause of action for nuisance, nor does it immunize railroads from state nuisance claims. Hence, there is no federal subject matter jurisdiction. But the lower court properly denied landowners' motion for preliminary injunction given the prospect of a preemption defense.