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KENNETH KOT D/B/A KOT'S AUTOBODY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/16/89)

decided: August 16, 1989.

KENNETH KOT D/B/A KOT'S AUTOBODY, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from Common Pleas Court, Bradford County; Honorable John C. Mott, Judge.

COUNSEL

Robert B. McGuinness, Towanda, for appellant.

Harold H. Cramber, Asst. Chief Counsel, Frank M. O'Meill, Asst. Counsel, John L. Heaton, Chief Counsel, Harrisburg, for appellee.

Palladino and Smith, JJ., and Kalish, Senior Judge.

Author: Kalish

[ 128 Pa. Commw. Page 140]

Kenneth Kot appeals from an order of the Common Pleas Court of Bradford County, which affirmed the decision of the Department of Transportation (Department), suspending Kot's certification as an official inspection mechanic. We affirm.

This case arises from an inspection performed on or about March 16, 1988 by Kot on a 1981 Chevrolet. Nine days after inspection, the car's suspension failed. Following the failure, Kenneth Benjamin and state trooper Jack Pierce, both licensed inspection mechanics, examined the car. The Department suspended Kot's certification as an official inspection mechanic, concluding that Kot had failed to properly inspect the car as the suspension problem existed at the time of inspection.

[ 128 Pa. Commw. Page 141]

At the trial de novo, the Department produced testimony that on March 24, 1988, state trooper Jack Pierce, an inspection station supervisor and inspection mechanic for the state police, examined the car. Pierce found that the left front shock tower was broken and the right one was in a rusted condition. In his opinion, the shock towers had both been rusty and partially broken at the time of the inspection by Kot.

Mr. Benjamin, another expert for the Department, testified that the shock absorber tower system was so deteriorated that he would have rejected it on inspection. He testified that this condition existed for a long time prior to the inspection by Kot.

Kot testified that he visibly inspected the shock tower, observed the vehicle as it was raised and lowered on the lift, and road tested the vehicle. Although he found nothing broken on the shock at the time of his inspection, he testified that the shock tower was covered with mud and that all he could see was surface rust.

The trial court made a finding that Kot failed to comply with that provision of the Department's regulations that deals with the inspection of shock absorbers, and upheld the certification suspension.

Kot contends that the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted into evidence, over objection, the opinion of the inspectors as to the condition of the shock tower at the time of Kot's inspection. Kot claims that under such ...


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