The Cambria Community Health District alleges that it was knowingly sold an ambulance that had been tampered with and is suing for damages.
A lawsuit filed on Aug. 22 against J & J Cars LLC, a Mississippi-based company, and Pilip Customs Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation, alleges that one of the companies reset, altered, or tampered with the odometer of an ambulance the district purchased.
According to the lawsuit, the district entered into an agreement with Pilip in August 2018 to purchase a pre-owned 2008 Chevrolet ambulance for $30,000 with an odometer reading of 90,000 miles.
The ambulance was sold at an auction by Insurance Auto Auctions to J & J Cars in June 2017, and the lawsuit alleges that at the time the mileage was certified at approximately more than 247,000 miles.
J & J sold the ambulance to Pilip on June 30, 2017, and said that the ambulance's mileage was 89,000—which was consistent with the ambulance's odometer reading at that time, the lawsuit states. Pilip then reconditioned the vehicle and sold it to Cambria.
The lawsuit alleges that several weeks after taking possession of the ambulance, the Cambria district discovered that the air conditioner did not work properly and there was a "whistle" sound coming from the engine when the vehicle accelerated.
According to email exchanges between the district and Pilip, due to the issues the district was experiencing with the ambulance, the company agreed to reduce the price by $900.
The ambulance continued to have serious mechanical issues, the lawsuit alleges, which made it unsafe for use as a district ambulance. The district had to spend more than $14,000 in a continued effort to make the vehicle safe for both patient transport and use by emergency personnel, the lawsuit claims, and a recent inspection estimates that close to $6,000 is needed in additional repairs.
New Times reached out to Pilip, but did not receive a response before press time. Δ