The former owners of Mr. D’s Delicious Fresh Foods have filed a counterclaim against the owners of Brookfield Sparkle Market alleging a suit lodged by the Sparkle owners was filed to “harass and injure” the Mr. D’s owners.

P&T Management Co. Inc., the owner of Sparkle, filed suit Aug. 11 against E.L.D. D’Onofrio Inc., the owner of Mr. D’s, alleging Larry and Ed D’Onofrio reneged on an oral contract to sell Mr. D’s to P&T, owned by Anthony and Teresa Modarelli.

The D’Onofrios have said they have since agreed to sell the business to a third party, and the new owner has been taking over operations.

Larry D’Onofrio testified at a Sept. 15 hearing that he and his brother, Ed, had been negotiating a sale to the Modarellis, but that no deal had been struck. A formal answer to the initial suit filed Nov. 28 reiterated that position.

The Modarellis filed the lawsuit “in bad faith and in an attempt to harass, interfere with and harm D’Onofrio in the marketplace and scare its customers away,” the counterclaim said.

The D’Onofrios also are seeking to have the Modarellis’ suit deemed frivolous, and to recover the costs they have incurred fighting the suit plus compensatory and punitive damages.

In its answer to the counterclaim, the Modarellis deny the allegations and said that, since Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Andrew Logan denied a request to stop the sale to the third party, the D’Onofrios are free to pursue the sale, negating any damages suffered by the D’Onofrios.

The case is set to go to trial in October.