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Freeport, historical society sued over fall on sidewalk

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, 12:41 a.m.
 

A McCandless couple has sued Freeport Borough and the Freeport Area Historical Society, claiming a deteriorated sidewalk on Fifth Street led to a fall that caused serious injuries.

In a lawsuit filed on Monday in the Armstrong County Court, Patricia Moore, 61, claims that in September 2010 she tripped and fell on an “uneven and raised” portion of the concrete sidewalk in front of 230 Fifth St.

Moore suffered a fractured wrist and other injuries as well as emotional distress, the Moores claim in the lawsuit. The couple is seeking damages for loss of income and pain and suffering.

The Moores say the borough and historical society had a responsibility to maintain the sidewalk.

The building and property is owned by the now defunct historical society, but the nonprofit never occupied the dilapidated building, which the borough paid to have demolished over the summer.

Borough Solicitor Gerald DeAngelis said the borough never had a connection to the property and, according to borough ordinance, the property owner is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk in front of their property.

When the borough learned of the lawsuit via a summons, DeAngelis said he offered to give the Moores the property at 230 Fifth St.

“That's the only asset the society would have owned,” he said. “And I'm in the process of liening it for the cost of the demolition.”

Pittsburgh attorney John Bryan, who is representing the Moores, declined to comment beyond what appears in the complaint.

The matter is being handled by the borough's insurance carrier, DeAngelis said.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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