East Providence, Rhode Island Sues Truck Maker

The City of East Providence, Rhode Island filed a law suit in Providence County Superior Court claiming breach of contract and breach warranty against specialty vehicle and fire truck manufacturer KME of Nesquehoning, Pa.

According to Acting City Manager William Conley Jr., five trucks that the city ordered and took possession of in September of 2002 were, over the next year, out of service 224 days for various repair needs. The city paid $2.5 million for the apparatus.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday, January 7. Phil Gerace, Director of Sales and Marketing for KME said on Thursday they planned to talk with representatives of East Providence on Friday to try and clear things up. But Acting city manager William Conley Jr., on Friday afternoon said the city was proceeding with the lawsuit. "We want the problem solved," Conley said, indicating the Friday conversation with KME had not caused them to change their approach to the problem.

Gerace said the problems up to this point are a direct result of a misrouted letters and miscommunication that they became aware of on Thursday. As for the Friday discussion, Gerace said, "We have issued them a proposal for resolution and they seem positive about it and we will see next week." He said they talked with Conley and Fire Chief Joseph G. Castro Jr.

Gerace also provided a statement from John J. Kovatch III, President of KME: "KME completely stands behind our units and we are ready to make any necessary warranty repairs. Somehow communications have gone astray between KME and the City including the misrouting of at least one letter, but we are confident that the problems can be resolved in a positive and timely manner."

Chief Castro, not wanting to comment now that the suit is filed, said nothing had changed because of Friday