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Trafford rejects contractor's allegation in property suit

| Friday, April 25, 2014, 2:09 p.m.

Trafford officials say a contractor's allegation that borough representatives gave the firm permission to stage equipment for a sewage project on a First Street property without the property owner's consent are untrue.

Further, Trafford's solicitor contends that two state laws make the borough immune from any liability in a lawsuit involving A. Liberoni Inc. and property owner James J. Bruno.

Borough Solicitor Craig Alexander filed paperwork on April 15 requesting Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge Gary Caruso to dismiss A. Liberoni's move to add Trafford as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Bruno originally sued the company in April 2013, but A. Liberoni countered by accusing unnamed Trafford officials of “representing” that it could use Bruno's property because he was delinquent on his taxes.

Trafford officials reject the assertion. In the borough's response to the suit, Alexander said A. Liberoni officials never asked any Trafford officials whether they had permission to use Bruno's property for the $400,000 project.

“Defendant (A. Liberoni) stored material on private property at its own choosing,” Alexander wrote.

Nonetheless, Trafford is immune from liability because of the Sovereign Immunity Act and the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act, Alexander contends.

Bruno's attorney, P. William Bercik, declined to comment about Trafford's filing.

W. Robert Ament, the attorney for A. Liberoni, did not return a message about the case.

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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