Mistrial declared in five-year-old lawsuit

LISBON — A nearly five-year-old civil lawsuit involving the Belle Vista Estates subdivision in Unity Township will have to wait a bit longer after a mistrial was declared in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.

The lawsuit originally called as Daniel Hall, New Waterford, et al. vs. Myron C. Wehr, New Waterford, began a jury trial to deal with the plaintiffs’ claims against only one of a long list of defendants — First American Title Insurance Co.

Jurors heard testimony for three days but then the plaintiffs moved for a mistrial due to some newly discovered evidence which came to light. Although the attorneys for First Amercian Title Insurance opposed the motion, Judge Scott Washam agreed the new information prevented a fair trial and required a new trial. The next jury trial for the matter has now been scheduled for June 12, 2017.

The lawsuit contends that properties in the Belle Vista Estates, which were purchased by Daniel and Sarah Hall and Philip and Linda Murphy, have Ohio Edison 175-foot-wide easements cutting across them, making it impossible for structures to be legally built on the properties. The plaintiffs are claiming the easements were not disclosed when they purchased the properties in the subdivision and that the defendant, First American Title Insurance, provided title guarantees at the time of the purchases.

The Belle Vista Estates is a subdivision on property reportedly owned initially by Wehr and the subdivision was reportedly surveyed by Keith Chamberlin, both of whom were among defendants named in the original lawsuit.