NEW CUMBERLAND – A Hancock County couple claims that their property was damaged by trespassing FirstEnergy employees.

Sherry Rowland and Rodger Rowland filed a complaint July 18 in Hancock Circuit Court against FirstEnergy Service Co., Monongahela Power Co., Patrick J. Hoder, Asplundh Tree Expert Co., Hancock County Sheriff Department and Maria Maiuro alleging breach of contract, negligent and willful trespass, malicious prosecution and slander.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs and FirstEnergy's predecessors entered into an agreement granting a right of way to place and service thereafter electric transmission lines in 1969. The plaintiffs allege that in June 2016, Maiuro contacted them to inform them maintenance needed to be completed on the right of way by FirstEnergy. The plaintiffs allege that during this maintenance, FirstEnergy employees injured their cat and trespassed on their property. The plaintiffs allege that Maiuro and FirstEnergy later made false allegations that Rodger Rowland was carrying around a shotgun during the maintenance and "brandished it" against their employees as they were leaving.

After another period of maintenance on July 12, 2016, the suit states criminal charges were filed against Rodger Rowland on Sept. 15, 2016, for obstruction. The charge was dismissed in January.

The plaintiffs hold FirstEnergy Service Co., Monongahela Power Co., Hoder, Asplundh Tree Expert Co., Hancock County Sheriff Department and Maiuro responsible because the plaintiffs allegedly suffered damages to their property and were maliciously prosecuted.

The plaintiffs seek general and compensatory damages, interest, punitive damages, all legal fees and any other relief as this court deems just. They are represented by Lawrence L. Manypenny in New Cumberland. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jason A. Cuomo.

Hancock Circuit Court case number 17-C-96

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