Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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January 20, 2011

Verizon lawsuit appeal up in the air

SOMERSET — No decision has been made regarding an of the appeal of the Rizzo v. Verizon suit, Art Giacalone, the lawyer for Mary Ann Rizzo, said Wednesday.

Rizzo, who brought suit against the proposed $4.5 billion Verizon data center in Somerset, has 30 days to file her Notice of Appeal.

Giacalone filed suit against Verizon, Somerset boards, the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency and others on behalf of the Rizzo Family. Niagara County Court Judge Matthew Murphy, who was serving as an acting Supreme Court Justice, dismissed the suit in a 40-page ruling on Jan. 10.

“A decision to appeal will be based on the quality of the court's legal and factual conclusions, not the length of the decision,” Giacalone said.

Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane said, “Frivolous lawsuits have too often hampered economic development efforts in New York. Here the courts have done the right thing by dismissing this case and allowing the Verizon data center to progress.”

Giacalone countered with his view: “Any official who refers to the Rizzo case as ‘frivolous’ is either ignorant of the law, grandstanding, or both.”

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