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Smith v. Csx Transporation, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Ashland

September 28, 2018

GEORGE SMITH, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC., DEFENDANT.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          HENRY R. WLLHOIT, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court upon Defendant CSX Transportation, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint [Docket No. 19]. Plaintiff has responded to the motion [Docket No. 22], For the reasons state herein, this Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted and dismissal is warranted.

         I.

         This case arises from George Smith's ownership of two adjacent parcels of land in Boyd County, Kentucky. The two parcels in question comprise a large tract of land which stretches between CSXT's tracks and the Big Sandy River in the Southeast corner of Boyd County.

         The first of these lots is identified in the Amended Complaint as a parcel of 110.41 acres, purchased by Plaintiff from CSX Realty, Inc. on December 23, 1991, deed of which is recorded in the Boyd County Clerk's Office in Deed Book 553, Page 78, which Plaintiff refers to as "Lot A." [Docket No. 18, Plaintiffs Amended Complaint, ¶8. and Docket No. 19-2].

         The second lot is a parcel of 93.50 acres, purchased by Plaintiff from CSX Realty, Inc. on June 2, 1993, which Plaintiff refers to as "Lot B." [Docket No. 18, ¶9]. The deed for that purchase is recorded in the Boyd County Clerk's Office in Deed Book 567, Page 473. [Docket No. 19-3].

         In 2007, A railroad crossing located near John-Mary Road (County Road 1121) was removed by CSXT. Plaintiffs Amended Complaint alleges that the closing of the railroad crossing rendered Lot B "functionally landlocked and inaccessible as a piece of commercial property." [Docket No. 18, ¶23].

         Seeking redress, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit in Boyd Circuit Court on October 14, 2015. Following a prolonged and torturous procedural path, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint almost a year later.[1] In his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges three causes of action: damage to land (Count II). fraud (Count II) and negligent and intentional trespass (Count III).

         CSX seeks dismissal of all claims alleged therein.

         II.

         Dismissal of a complaint is warranted under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. With respect to a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals explained in Estate of Ezra G. Smith v. United States, 509 Fed.Appx. 436 (6th Cir. 2012) that:

[t]he Supreme Court held in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) that to survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) a complaint must contain (1) enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible; (2) more than a formulaic recitation of a cause of actions' elements; and (3) allegations that suggest a right to relief above a speculative level, (internal citation omitted)...A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged, (internal citation omitted)...For a complaint to survive a motion to dismiss, the non-conclusory factual content and the reasonable inferences from that content, must be plausibly suggestive of a claim entitling a plaintiff to relief, (internal citation omitted) Where the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not show[n]~that the pleader is entitled to relief.

Estate of Ezra G Smith, 509 Fed.Appx. at 439.

         "Conclusory assertions, e.g., that...[the] defendants engaged in 'outrageous' and 'unlawful' behavior...are insufficient to state a claim that is plausible on its face." Ogle v. Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC,513 Fed.Appx. 520, 522-523 (6th Cir. 2013). The "complaint must contain either direct or inferential allegations respecting all material elements to sustain a recovery under some viable legal theory." Bishop ...


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