United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
MAHER WAAD, MARKS ONE CAR RENTAL, and MARKS ONE COLLISION, Plaintiffs,
FARMERS INSURANCE EXCHANGE, ALLEN KELLER, and TOM BERRY, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION
TO DISMISS (DOC. 6) AND DENYING AT MOOT PLAINTIFFS'
MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE (DOC. 14)
COHN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the third case filed by Maher Waad (Waad) and his companies
Marks One Car Rental and Marks One Collision seeking damages
for alleged mistreatment. In each of the three cases,
plaintiffs have sued Farmers Insurance Exchange (Farmers).
The allegations against Farmers in each case are generally
that Farmers and its agents have had a vendetta against Waad
and his companies which started in 2013 when Farmers
investigated a claim of insurance fraud regarding plaintiffs
(“the 2013 Farmers investigation”). According to
plaintiffs, the 2013 Farmers investigation and other events
led to a 2014 raid on Waad's businesses which resulted in
criminal charges against him that were later dismissed.
current case is names Farmers and two of its employees, Allen
Keller (Keller) and Tom Berry (Berry) as defendants; it
asserts the following claims, phrased by plaintiffs as
Count I -Federal Claim Violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth
Amendment -False Arrest, False Imprisonment and Unreasonable
Search and Seizure
Count II - Federal Claim Violation of the Fourth and
Fourteenth Amendments Malicious Prosecution
Count III - State Claim Mcl 600.2907 - Malicious Prosecution
as to All Defendants
Count IV- State Claim Civil Conspiracy as to All Defendants
Count V - State Claim Statutory Conversion as to All
Count VI - State Claim Common Law Conversion as to All
the Court is defendants' motion to dismiss essentially on
the grounds that this case is an improper attempt to get
another bite at the apple. (Doc. 6). For the reasons that
follow, the motion is GRANTED.
before the Court is plaintiffs' motion to consolidate
this case with one of the prior cases. (Doc. 14). Given the
dismissal of this case, this motion is MOOT.
point in 2013, Farmers investigated Waad and his companies
for possible insurance fraud and concluded that fraud had
occurred. Farmers apparently sent a copy of its investigation
report to Macomb County law enforcement in 2014 at their
request. Subsequently law enforcement raided plaintiffs'
businesses and arrested Waad. Waad was initially bound over
for trial after a several day preliminary hearing. The
charges were later dropped following appeals.
lawsuits began in 2013 when plaintiffs sued Farmers and
several other insurance companies, raising claims under state
and federal law which boiled down to the allegation that
defendants were not fairly treating Waad and his businesses
in part because defendants suggested to plaintiffs'
customers that plaintiffs engaged in fraud. Waad, v.
Farmers, et al, 13-14610 (the 2013 Case). Notably, among
its affirmative defenses and as a counterclaim, Farmers
asserted truth as a defense to the defamation and
interference claims and specifically referenced and
incorporated the 2013 Farmers investigation. See
Doc. 238 in the 2013 Case. As noted above, during the
pendency of the 2013 Case, Waad and his businesses were
raided and Waad was charged criminally.
stipulations and motion practice, only Farmers remained as a
defendant with claims of defamation and tortious interference
asserted against it. The Court, in March of 2018, granted
Farmers' motion for summary judgment and dismissed the
case. See Doc. 285 (Memorandum and Order) and 286
(Judgment) in the 2013 Case.
in 2016, while the 2013 Case was pending and after Waad's
criminal case was dismissed, Waad and his companies sued
Farmers and Keller along with a Warren police officer, Macomb
County deputy sheriffs, a Macomb County prosecutor, and
Macomb County, claiming that the defendants violated
Waad's civil rights stemming from the raid. Waad v.
Farmers, et al, case no. 16-13362 (the 2016
Case). The complaint asserted twelve (12) counts
under state and federal law against all of the defendants.
The Court declined to exercise jurisdiction over the state
law claims (malicious prosecution, false arrest, false
imprisonment, assault and battery, abuse of process, concert
of action, civil conspiracy, statutory conversion, and common
law conversion) and dismissed them without prejudice.
See Doc. 27 in the 2016 Case. Thereafter, because
the remaining federal claims required state action and
because the Court concluded that the complaint failed to
plead a plausible claim that Farmers or Keller were state
actors, it dismissed Farmers and Keller from the case.
See Doc. 33 in the 2016 Case. Currently, the
remaining defendants in the 2016 Case, with the exception of
the Warren police officer, have filed dispositive motions
which are set for hearing.
2017, while the 2013 Case and 2016 Case were pending, Waad
and his companies filed this case against State Farm and
Keller as well as Berry (the 2017 Case). As noted above,
plaintiffs have asserted state and federal claims-the same