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News Brief

Nov. 8, 2011HOLT COUNTY, MO |  By: Wayman

Railroad Lawsuit

The legal case Big Lakes has against a local railroad over flood issues could have national implications.

The village in Holt county was suing Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad arguing the rail road has built a dam in order to protect its tracks against Missouri River flooding, a move that could flood nearby property and put lives at risk. Burlington Northern yesterday successfully argued in court, that federal law gives it immunity from local ordinances and Big Lake has no legal standing to determine how the railroad builds its rail bed. The railroad attorney argued if local ordinances go so far as to determine railroad operations, it could disrupt rail shipping across the nation. The case was dismissed, but Big Lake attorney Rex Sharp says it will be appealed, adding railroad actions and flood concerns make this a health and safety issue.

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If Big Lake has the funds to appeal, it most likely will go to the Missouri court of appeals level and possibly to the State Supreme Court.