Judge Approves $3.79 million Kansas Telecom Deal

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- A judge has given final approval to a $3.79 million settlement over claims by thousands of Kansas landowners against three of the nation's largest telecommunications companies. The deal settles a class action property rights dispute over installation of fiber optic cable on railroad rights of way.

Wednesday's ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth Gale affects about 3,700 Kansas landowners with property adjacent and underlying the railroad rights of way.

Under terms of the settlement, more than $2.4 million in benefits will be available for landowners. An additional $1 million goes for attorneys' fees and $321,000 pays administrative costs.

The federal lawsuit in Kansas was filed in 2010 against Sprint Communications Co., Qwest Communication Co. and Level 3 Communications.

Similar right-of-way settlements have also received final approval in nine other states.