LOCKPORT – A lawsuit attempting to invalidate the sale of Mount View Health Facility has been dismissed.
State Supreme Court Justice Ralph A. Boniello III ruled this week that the suit against Niagara County by Briarwood Manor, an assisted-living facility in Lockport, was filed far too late to meet a legal deadline.
The new owner, David M. Tosetto, a former executive of the Elderwood nursing home group, plans to open a 150-bed assisted-living facility at Mount View.
“As long as no other surprises pop up, we’ll be open in five months,” he said Wednesday.
County Attorney Claude A. Joerg said, “I’m just happy he’s finally able to move forward.”
Briarwood Manor’s attorney, Guy J. Agostinelli, declined to comment on the ruling and said he hadn’t decided whether to appeal it.
The County Legislature voted in July 2012 to sell the former county nursing home to Tosetto, a Youngstown resident, for $550,000. However, the resolution held out the possibility of renegotiating the price depending on the results of an asbestos abatement survey.
Last summer, the Legislature was poised to reduce the price to $196,000 because of the high costs that Tosetto was going to face for asbestos abatement and renovations of the 75-year-old, five-story building on Upper Mountain Road in Lockport.
That’s when Agostinelli protested. In an Aug. 3 letter to the Legislature, he said his client would be willing to pay $300,000 for Mount View.
The Legislature then decided to make Tosetto pay the whole $550,000 despite the asbestos. It passed the deal Sept. 17, and the deed was filed the next day.
The lawsuit was filed Jan. 17, which Agostinelli asserted was the final day of the four-month deadline to bring an action. But the county asserted that the clock started running in July 2012, not in September 2013, and Boniello agreed.
The judge also said that all other contentions made by Briarwood Manor “have been considered by the court and are found to be without merit.”
They included a claim that the county didn’t advertise the property correctly, listing it with a real estate broker instead of holding a public auction.
The county shut down Mount View at the end of 2007.