August 13, 2003

Jenner & Block recently secured a victory for WorldCom in the Iowa Supreme Court in a dispute over language from an earlier class action litigation settlement concerning the company’s right to install fiber optic cables in vacant petroleum pipelines.  In upholding the trial court’s dismissal, the state’s high court ruled that language within the original litigation notice and settlement agreement met due process requirements and contained sufficient notice to a class of Iowa landowners, who had sought to bring a second suit against WorldCom over the use of a second pipeline.

The Iowa high court largely agreed with the Firm’s arguments on behalf of WorldCom, saying that the there was sufficient notice about the nature of the second pipeline, both within the original notice of litigation and within the settlement agreement.  “Given the notice’s reference to monetary compensation for easements related to the pipeline, any possible inconsistency … regarding whether one or both of the pipelines was involved should have alerted recipients to investigate the matter further,” the court concluded.

Partners David A. Handzo and J. Alex Ward led the Firm’s effort in this matter on behalf of WorldCom.