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Trafford added as defendant in property-usage lawsuit

| Friday, July 12, 2013, 12:51 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Penn
Property and abandoned house at 90 First Street in Trafford. Lillian DeDomenic | For the Penn Trafford Star
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Penn
Property and abandoned house at 90 First Street in Trafford. Lillian DeDomenic | For the Penn Trafford Star
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Penn
Property and abandoned house at 90 First Street in Trafford. Lillian DeDomenic | For the Penn Trafford Star
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Penn
Property and abandoned house at 90 First Street in Trafford. Lillian DeDomenic | For the Penn Trafford Star

A contractor hired by Trafford Council to replace sewage lines under First Street has pulled the borough into a lawsuit involving the company's use of private property as a staging area for the $400,000 project.

Officials of A. Liberoni Inc. filed a complaint in Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court last month to add the borough of Trafford as a defendant in a lawsuit against filed by James J. Bruno of North Huntingdon.

Bruno initially sued A. Liberoni in April. In the lawsuit, he accused the company of trespassing and unjust enrichment by using property he owns at 90 and 90½ First St. in 2011 to store excavation equipment without his permission.

But A. Liberoni officials said in the suit that Trafford alone should be responsible for any potential damages. According to the complaint, company officials are accusing unspecified Trafford officials of “representing” that the company could use Bruno's property because he was delinquent on his taxes and that the borough was foreclosing on the property.

Neither A. Liberoni's attorney, W. Robert Ament, nor Bruno's attorney, P. William Bercik, was available for comment about the complaint.

Trafford Council President Rich Laird said he didn't have any information about the complaint.

Bruno and Bercik approached council in November to ask for compensation because of A. Liberoni's use of the property and other damage Bruno said happened when volunteer firefighters practiced there.

At that time, Alexander told Bruno the borough was not going to pay him for the use of the property.

Alexander also said then that Bruno has filed tax-assessment appeals to Westmoreland County saying his property is worth nothing.

Bruno, who is a cousin of former Councilman Frank Bruno, wants to use the property to build townhouses, Bercik said last year.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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