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Brentwood man files broad-ranging lawsuit after falling over wires, piping

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A Brentwood man is suing Whitehall Borough, the Baldwin-Whitehall School District and several other entities because of wires and piping he said were left at the base of a light pole and caused him to trip and fall, injure his leg and suffer “great pain,” embarrassment and mental anguish.

Salvatore Coppola, of Lawnview Avenue, filed a lawsuit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on June 24 that claims Sunoco Inc., Atlantic Refining & Marketing Corp., Duquesne Light Co., Verizon Pennsylvania LLC, Whitehall, the Baldwin-Whitehall School District and the city of Pittsburgh were negligent because they let wire and pipes sit at the base of a light pole near the Beall Drive and Route 51 crosswalk in Whitehall.

He is seeking a judgment plus costs and interest.

“I don't see any possible way that this is going to end up involving Whitehall Borough,” borough Manager James Leventry said.

Baldwin-Whitehall Superintdent Randal Lutz said district administrators received the information in recent weeks, and passed it to the district's insurance provider for review.

Representatives from Sunoco did not return calls seeking comment.

According to the lawsuit, Coppola tripped because of wires and piping at the base of the post on Jan. 5, 2012. He suffered a torn medial meniscus in his right knee, requiring surgery, a laceration on his right knee and joint pain in his right knee, the lawsuit said.

This caused Coppola to “endure great pain, suffering, inconvenience, embarrassment, mental anguish, and emotional and psychological trauma,” the suit said.

The light pole was owned and maintained by Sunoco, or, in the alternative, by one of the other businesses or governmental agencies included in the lawsuit, the complaint said.

All of the defendants were negligent because they allowed the area to “remain in a dangerous and unsafe condition” and did not restrict it from public access, the lawsuit states.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or

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