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RULING SAYS TOWN ISN'T LIABLE FOR DAMAGE TO SINKING HOMES

A Rochester appeals court Friday upheld two lower court rulings that Amherst is not liable for damages in connection with the town's sinking homes.

The unanimous ruling by a five judge panel of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court all but closes the door to further appeals in the case. It also deals a blow to homeowners who might seek to recover damages from the town, according to Town Attorney E. Thomas Jones.

Lawyers for the plaintiff, Mary Elizabeth Witt of Getzville, asked the court to reinstate Witt's damage claim against Amherst, saying it was timely because town officials were allegedly engaged in a "continuing wrong" against homeowners.

However, the opinion by Presiding Justice Eugene F. Pigott Jr. said there was no evidence that Amherst officials had engaged in "fraud, deception or misrepresentation."

"Since this is a unanimous decision, it should put to rest any question that the town is responsible for the sinking homes tragedies," Jones said.

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