KITTANNING, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania couple angry over a lighted sign near their rural home has driven away six advertisers and cost the billboard company $50,000, according to a harassment suit brought by the sign's owner.
But attorney Gregory Swank, who represents the West Kittanning couple, said he plans a countersuit seeking the billboard's removal and compensation for his clients' aggravation.
Oliver Outdoor Advertising sued Andrew and Patricia Colberg last month in Armstrong County, the (Kittanning) Leader-Times (http://bit.ly/1DkQhtr ) first reported Wednesday. The lawsuit stems from a dispute that began when the company installed the billboard in 2012.
The Colbergs complained to the company and officials in West Kittanning and, finally, to 18 companies that put their ads on the sign, saying it was too bright. The Colbergs say the sign shines into their home some 40 miles northeast of Pittsburgh and makes it hard to sleep at night.
Patricia Colberg began complaining to borough council a month later and while a councilwoman has formed a committee to consider drafting an ordinance to regulate billboards, it's likely too late to help the Colbergs. That's because any ordinance would only address signs erected in the future.
"There's nothing we can do to existing signs," said Bob Venesky, council president.
That's why Swank said the Colbergs will countersue.
"I think the lawsuit lacks merit because the Colbergs haven't interfered with Oliver's business — they were just talking to people about this situation," Swank said. "Basically, Oliver seems to be trying to stifle the Colbergs and intimidate them with heavy-handed litigation."
The billboard company's attorney declined comment Wednesday.
Information from: Leader Times, http://www.leadertimes.com