Property-rights class actions are difficult to bring, because property tends to be unique, and class actions do not work well with unique claims. But that doesn’t stop plaintiffs from trying to certify classes asserting property based claims.

This week’s case–Onyx Props. LLC v. Bd. Cty. Comm’ners of Elbert Cty., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7151 (D. Colo. Jan. 17, 2013).–arises out of one such effort. The specific details are convoluted, but basically amount to the following: two developments in Elbert County, Colorado were, for various reasons, rezoned from an "A-Agriculture" designation to an "A-1" designation. This was apparently important … Continue Reading

There’s an intuition among defense lawyers that property-based cases are difficult to certify; not impossible, but certainly difficult. This week’s case, Burdette v. Vigindustries, Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15412 (D. Kan. Feb. 8, 2012), offers several reasons why that is the case.

Burdette is a case about sinkholes. It involves a neighborhood in Hutchinson, Kansas that had been located next to a series of salt solution mines. After a sinkhole developed in the Careyville neighborhood in 2005, the defendant, which owned the nearby salt mine property, created a buffer zone between the neighborhood and its own … Continue Reading