PITTSBURGH – A local development authority has initiated litigation with a Duquesne investigation firm that allegedly violated the terms of both a lease and settlement agreement that the parties had mutually agreed upon.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh filed suit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Nov. 22 versus State Security and Investigation Services, of Duquesne.

On Aug. 6, 2009, the parties entered into a lease agreement for a commercial space within Lexington Technology Park in Pittsburgh – one modified twice in July 2012 and April 2014, to modify the leased commercial area, increase the rent and extend the lease to June 30, 2017.

At that point (Spring 2014), the defendant fell behind on payment of rent, despite repeated notices by the plaintiff and its property manager, Baker Young Corporation, the suit says. 

On July 27, 2016, the plaintiff sent a letter to the defendant notifying it that it had a past due balance of $22,901.67 and the lease was terminated due to defendant’s failure to pay rent when due. Thereafter, the defendant vacated the leased premises, but did not pay the past due balance, the suit says.

“During 2016 and 2017, the defendant repeatedly represented to the Authority that it intended to pay its past due balance on the lease. On Oct. 6, 2017, the defendant and the Authority signed a settlement agreement pursuant to which defendant agreed to pay to the Authority the sum of $22,910.67 as settlement of its balance owed to the Authority,” the suit states.

“Defendant agreed to make the payment pursuant to the settlement agreement within 14 business days of Oct. 6, 2017. The settlement agreement provided that, in the event of a breach of its terms, the release provisions would ‘be of no force and effect’ annd the Authority could seek enforcement of any and all of its rights. The settlement agreement also provided that, if litigation was necessary to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement, the prevailing party would be entitled to recover all legal fees and costs,” the suit adds.

On Oct. 22, 2017, the defendant allegedly provided a check to the Authority as purported payment of the settlement amount, which the plaintiff promptly deposited in its checking account. The following day, the plaintiff’s bank notified it that the settlement check was rejected for insufficient funds, the suit says.

“On Nov. 3, 2017, the Authority sent a letter to defendant informing it that the settlement check had been rejected and that the Authority would take legal action if defendant did not pay the full amount agreed to in the settlement agreement by Nov. 9, 2017. As of the date of the complaint, the defendant has not paid the amount due under the lease of the settlement agreement, nor has defendant offered an explanation for its conduct,” the suit explains.

For separate counts of breach of contract related to both the lease and settlement agreement, the plaintiff is seeking in excess of $50,000, plus punitive damages, interest, costs, attorney’s fees and whatever other and further relief the Court deems just.

The plaintiff is represented by Jason W. Hobbes of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, in Pittsburgh.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas case GD-17-015939

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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