United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT DOOSAN INFRACORE CO.
LTD.'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OF TIME-BARRED CLAIMS
CARAM STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a products liability action arising out of a generator that
backfired while plaintiff Glenn Miller was attempting to
repair it, resulting in serious injury. Plaintiff alleges
that a faulty service manual is to blame. Now before the
court is defendant Doosan Infracore Co. Ltd.'s
(“Doosan Korea”) motion to dismiss the claims as
time-barred and for lack of personal jurisdiction. Because
Doosan Korea seeks to rely on matters outside the pleadings
to establish its statute of limitations defense, the court
converted the motion to dismiss into a motion for summary
judgment and allowed plaintiff to file matters outside the
pleadings for the court's review (Doc. 55). Despite this
opportunity, plaintiff has failed to do so. For the reasons
set forth below, the court shall grant Doosan Korea's
motion for summary judgment of time-barred claims, and shall
not reach the personal jurisdiction issue.
Glenn Ronnie Miller is a Michigan resident who owns and
operates a company that sells, rents, and services
generators. (Doc. 48 at 4). Defendant Doosan Korea is a
Korean company with its principle place of business in Seoul,
Republic of Korea. (Doc. 48 at 4). Doosan Korea negotiates
and sells engines to Generac Power Systems Inc. in Korea and
Wisconsin. (Doc. 48 at 5). Generac generators are produced
using engines manufactured by Doosan Korea.
October 12, 2012, plaintiff was servicing a generator in
Southfield, Michigan (Doc. 48 at 4). Defendant Doosan Korea
designed and manufactured the engine and service manuals for
the subject generator. (Doc. 53 at 3). Plaintiff alleges that
improper maintenance because of a defective service manual
caused the engine to kickback during service. Id.
The engine allegedly backfired, causing the plaintiff to be
knocked off the top of the generator to the ground below
sustaining serious injury. (Doc. 48 at 4).
originally sued Generac and Doosan Infracore America
Corporation (“DIA”). Plaintiff alleged that DIA
manufactured the generator in question and was responsible
for the service manual. However, on October 20, 2016, the
parties stipulated to the dismissal of DIA because it was
discovered that DIA was not the manufacturer or the author of
the service manual. Generac then filed a motion to file a
Notice of Non-Party Fault against Doosan Korea and plaintiff
filed a motion to amend to name Doosan Korea as a defendant.
(Doc. 35 and 36). The court granted the unopposed motions but
noted that Doosan Korea retained the right to object to the
timing of the Notice which was filed well outside the 91-day
limitations period since the filing of defendant's first
responsive pleading as required pursuant to MCR
the Notice was filed outside the 91-day limitations period,
the Notice was only timely if Doosan Korea's identify
could not have been discovered sooner with reasonable
diligence and allowing the late filed Notice would not
prejudice the opposing party. In its pending motion, Doosan
Korea has come forward with proofs demonstrating that Generac
and plaintiff knew of its identity at least four months
before the Notice of Non-Party Fault was filed. Plaintiff has
not submitted any proofs to the contrary despite the
opportunity to do so.
Converting Motion to Dismiss Into Motion for Summary
originally filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) based on a statute of limitations
defense. Generally, the statute of limitations defense is a
matter for summary judgment, but where the “allegations
in the complaint affirmatively show that the claim is
time-barred, ” dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) may be
appropriate. Cataldo v. U.S. Steel Corp., 676 F.3d
542, 547 (6th Cir. 2012). In deciding a motion to dismiss,
the court is limited to the allegations of the complaint and
may not resort to matters outside the pleadings.
Rondigo, L.L.C. v. Twp. of Richmond, 641
F.3d 673, 680 (6th Cir. 2011). Here, Doosan Korea seeks to
rely on matters outside the pleadings to establish that
plaintiff's claims are time-barred. Accordingly, the
court converted Doosan Korea's motion to dismiss based on
the statute of limitations defense into one for summary
judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(d).
Thus, the court issued an order on June 14, 2017 allowing the
parties to submit matters outside the pleadings for the court
to review. Defendant has submitted supplemental documents in
support of its statute of limitations defense (Doc. 56).
Plaintiff and defendant Generac have not submitted any
additional documents despite the opportunity to do so.
court's consideration of the statute of limitations
defense is considered under the standard of a motion for
summary judgment. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c)
empowers the court to render summary judgment "forthwith
if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact
and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law." See Redding v. St. Eward, 241 F.3d
530, 532 (6th Cir. 2001). The Supreme Court has affirmed the
court's use of summary judgment as an integral part of
the fair and efficient administration of justice. The
procedure is not a disfavored procedural shortcut.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986);
see also Cox v. Ky. DOT, 53 F.3d 146, 149 (6th Cir.
Standard of Law
standard for determining whether summary judgment is
appropriate is "'whether the evidence presents a
sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or
whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a
matter of law.'" Amway Distribs. Benefits
Ass'n v. Northfield Ins. Co., 323 F.3d 386, 390 (6th
Cir. 2003) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986)). The evidence and all reasonable
inferences must be construed in the light most favorable to
the non-moving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986);
Redding, 241 F.3d at 532 (6th Cir. 2001).
"[T]he mere existence of some alleged factual
dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise
properly supported motion for summary judgment; the
requirement is that there be no genuine issue of
material fact." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986) (emphasis in
original); see also Nat'l Satellite Sports, Inc. v.
Eliadis, Inc., 253 F.3d 900, 907 (6th Cir. 2001).
movant establishes by use of the material specified in Rule
56(c) that there is no genuine issue of material fact and
that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, the
opposing party must come forward with "specific facts
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial."
First Nat'l Bank v. Cities Serv. Co., 391 U.S.
253, 270 (1968); see also McLean v. 988011 Ont.,
Ltd., 224 F.3d 797, 800 (6th Cir. 2000). Mere
allegations or denials in the non-movant's pleadings will
not meet this burden, nor will a mere scintilla of evidence
supporting the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 248, 252. Rather, there must ...