Philadelphia, Pa. – The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has denied Gary Barbera Chryslerland's second attempt to overturn a trial judge ordering the high volume dealer to pay $38,484.40, plus $10,000 in attorney fees, as damages to Philadelphia police officer Jeffrey Hannan, for misrepresenting a 1995 Used Mazda Millenia.
Consumer attorney Craig Thor Kimmel of the Ambler-based law firm of Kimmel & Silverman, P.C represented Hannan.
The trial court ruled that Hannan did not have to return the vehicle when issuing the award in his favor. The car had been represented by Gary Barbera Chrsylerland as being in excellent condition with no history of repairs or accidents, but had actually had three transmissions replaced, as well as two engines, and at least one significant collision before Barbera re-sold it in July 1997.
Hannan had purchased the car, along with an extended warranty, for $19,242.20, based upon these misrepresentations, according to court papers.
Two weeks after purchase, Hannan noticed that the transmission began to slip when shifting into second gear. The transmission was still under warranty and Hannan took the car to an authorized Mazda dealership, which replaced the entire unit, but the problem recurred in the eight months that followed. Additional repairs to the brakes, power steering, water pump, radiator hose, and motor mount also were required. During one of the repair visits at the Mazda dealership, Hannan was surprised to learn that the car indeed had a very significant repair history pre-dating his purchase, including the transmission and engine replacements.
Last July, the Superior Court affirmed Judge Carolyn E. Temin's own ruling in August 1999 (Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County), finding that Gary Barbera's Chryslerland breached the Pennsylvania Automotive Trade Practices Regulations, Section 301.4 subsection 9. Despite the fact that the dealer sold the car "as is," they did not use the exact language specified in the statute.
The Court ruled that the "as is" provision used by the dealership was insufficient to disclaim implied warranties under state law. Furthermore, the Court ruled that Barbera was solely responsible for misrepresenting the car's value and condition.
In her ruling, Judge Temin stated that Gary Barbera's Chryslerland misrepresented the vehicle's history in the sales presentation to Hannan and that the defendant's conduct was "outrageous, intentionally and maliciously misleading and in total disregard of the requirements of the law."
All statements made in this press release were based on court papers dated August 12, 1999, and the Superior Court ruling dated July 10, 2001.