Swinomish Partially Prevails in Dispute with BNSF

Here are the materials in Swinomish Indian Tribal Community v BNSF Railway Company (W.D. Wash.):






An excerpt:

For all of the foregoing reasons, the cross-motions for summary judgment (Dkt. # 58 and Dkt. # 63) are GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. The Tribe is entitled to a declaration that BNSF breached the terms of the Easement Agreement by failing to make annual disclosures regarding the cargo it was carrying across the reservation and by increasing the number of trains and cars traversing the reservation without first seeking to obtain the Tribe’s written assent. The state law claims for damages, compelled disclosures, and an adjustment in rent are not preempted by the ICCTA. To the extent the Tribe seeks an injunction limiting the type of cargo or the number of trains or cars crossing the reservation — whether under a breach of contract, trespass, or estoppel theory — those remedies are unavailable in this jurisdiction. The Tribe may seek a declaration of its contractual rights from the STB and/or it may initiate the right of way cancellation procedures provided under in the IRWA and its implementing regulations.