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Class action suit aims at rail trail path


November 02, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — Although it's already seen several years of delays, the rail trail is now facing another one, and like some, this one is in out-of-state hands.

Recently, people owning land along the Providence & Worcester railway route being proposed for the trail got letters inviting them to be part of a class-action lawsuit alleging the federal government "took" their land without payment several years ago.

"If you qualify, your claim is for the value of the property taken and could be substantial," said last Thursday's legal ad submitted by Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice, LLC, the St. Louis law firm handling the case. It further notes, "This case is neutral towards the trail itself and does not attempt to stop it.Ö"

Local attorney Rob Caprera is the first one listed as plaintiff on the court filings, but even he admits he didn't have anything to do with the case's inception and said "You probably know more about it than I do."

About 18 months ago, he said, the St. Louis firm contacted him to invite his participation because he owns land along the railway; he had never heard of the case before then, and didn't expect to hear anything else thereafter.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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