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Pincast, LLC v. Thor Motor Coach

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

October 25, 2019

PINCAST, LLC Plaintiff,
v.
THOR MOTOR COACH, a Delaware Corporation; and GENERAL RV CENTER, INC., a Michigan corporation, d/b/a GENERAL RV CENTER, Defendants.

          Mona K. Majzoub Magistrate Judge

          ORDER PARTIALLY GRANTING AND PARTIALLY DENYING DEFENDANT THOR MOTOR COACH'S MOTION TO DISMISS [ECF. NO. 10] AND GRANTING DEFENDANT GENERAL RV CENTER INC.'S MOTION TO DISMISS [ECF. No. 11]

          Victoria A. Roberts United States District Judge

         I. BACKGROUND

         This diversity action surrounds a new 2018 Thor Four Winds 35SB class C motorhome (“Motorhome”). Pincast, LLC (“Pincast”) sues Thor Motor Coach (“Thor”) and General RV Center, Inc. (“General RV”).

         Pincast bought the Motorhome from General RV on July 3, 2017. Pincast and General RV executed a Purchase Agreement at the time of sale. Thor, the manufacturer of the Motorhome, guaranteed a limited warranty on the chassis. Pincast received and signed documents acknowledging these facts when it purchased the Motorhome.

         Soon after, Pincast discovered defects in the chassis portion of the Motorhome. On July 20, 2017, Pincast reported the defects to General RV. Several times, General RV and Thor attempted repairs. Problems persisted.

         On July 5, 2018, more than a year after Pincast purchased the Motorhome, Thor wrote Pincast a letter offering a new limited warranty if Pincast relinquished any claims stemming from prior defects or repairs. Pincast rejected this offer. Pincast filed a consumer complaint against Thor under Utah's lemon law on October 1, 2018.

         Pincast first filed this action in state court on February 26, 2019, it was removed here.

         Pincast sues Thor for: (I) relief under Utah's “lemon law, ” (II) breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, (III) breach of express warranty and breach of contract, and (IV) breach of implied warranty of merchantability. It sues General RV only for Counts II and IV, breach of implied warranties.

         Thor and General RV move to dismiss Pincast's claims.

         For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS General RV's motion to dismiss in its entirety. The Court GRANTS Thor's motion to dismiss in part and DENIES it in part.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         To survive a motion to dismiss, the nonmoving party must allege enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). The facts must be construed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Power & Tel. Supply Co. v. SunTrust Banks, Inc. 447 F.3d 923, 929- 30 (6th Cir. 2006) (quoting Bovee v. Coopers & Lybrand C.P.A., 272 F.3d 356, 360 (6th Cir. 2001)). Failure to respond to a motion to dismiss is not fatal to the nonmoving party if the pleadings state a plausible claim for relief. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.

         Choice of law

         General RV's Purchase Agreement and Thor's Limited Warranty both contain choice of law provisions. Federal courts sitting in diversity apply the choice of law principles of the forum state. Wallace Hardware Co. v. Abrams, 223 F.3d 383, 391 (6th Cir. 2000).

         The parties do not dispute the choice of law clauses; however, because the laws of different jurisdictions apply to General RV and Thor, and to Count I and the rest of the claims, the Court sets forth the applicable law for each claim.

         a. General RV's Purchase Agreement

         General RV's Purchase Agreement has a choice of forum clause and choice of law clause that gives the Eastern District of Michigan jurisdiction. This selection clause is valid. Atlantic Marine Const. Co., Inc. v. U.S. Dist. Court for the Western Dist. of Texas, 571 U.S. 49, 66 (2013). Michigan contract law applies to the dispute between Pincast and General RV. Michels v. Monaco Coach Corp., 298 F.Supp.2d 642, 645 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 31, 2003), citing Meridian Mutual Ins. v. Kellman, 197 F.3d 1178, 1181 (6th Cir. 1999).

         b. Thor's Limited Warranty

         Thor's Limited Warranty has a choice of law clause. It specifies that Indiana law governs disputes related to alleged breach of warranty. [ECF No. 10-1, PageID.85] Indiana law applies to Counts II, III, and IV against Thor.

         c. Utah Lemon Law

         Count I is a statutory claim under Utah's “lemon law.” Utah substantive law applies to this claim. However, the language of the choice of law clause includes tort actions and statutory claims related to the Limited Warranty. While Utah law governs substantive aspects of Count I, Indiana law applies to procedural aspects.

         III. ANALYSIS

         The Court addresses the motions separately.

         1. General RV

         Pincast sues General RV for breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose (Count II) and breach of implied warranty of merchantability (Count IV). General RV says it disclaimed any warranties in its Purchase Agreement, and Pincast has no claim against it.

         Pincast did not respond to General RV's motion to dismiss. Thus, it appears that Pincast abandons these claims. The Court can dismiss Pincast's claims against General RV pursuant to F. R. Civ. P 41(b) and E.D. Mich. LR. 41.2 for failure to prosecute.

         Additionally, the Court finds that Pincast fails to plausibly state claims upon which relief can be granted against General RV.

         General RV sold the Motorhome to Pincast through its sole member and agent, Paul Southam, who signed General RV's ...


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