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Miller v. Thor Motor Coach

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

November 12, 2019

Geraldine Miller, Plaintiff,
v.
Thor Motor Coach, et. al., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS[#6]AND GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT[#7]

          HON. GERSHWIN A. DRAIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         This action centers around an allegedly defective recreational vehicle that was sold to Plaintiff Geraldine Miller by Defendant General RV Center (“GRV”) and manufactured by Defendant Thor Motor Coach (“Thor”). Plaintiff filed the instant action against Defendants on January 11, 2019 in Ohio state court. ECF No. 1. An Amended Complaint was filed on January 21, 2019 alleging violations of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, Ohio Lemon Law, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the Ohio Uniform Commercial Code, implied warranty and tort, and declaratory judgment. ECF No. 1-1, PageID.18.

         Presently before the Court is Defendant Thor's Motion to Dismiss and Defendant GRV's Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF Nos. 7, 8. While Defendant GRV purports to move for summary judgment in the title of its motion, the language utilized throughout the motion indicates that GRV is effectively moving for dismissal. See, e.g., ECF No. 7, PageID.153, 164-165, 168. The Court will accordingly address Defendant GRV's filing as a Motion to Dismiss.

         Upon review of the Defendants' submissions and the Plaintiff's failure to respond, the Court concludes that oral argument will not aid in the disposition of this matter. Therefore, the Court will resolve the instant motion on the briefs. See E.D. Mich. L.R. § 7.1(f)(2). For the reasons discussed below, the Court will GRANT both of Defendants' motions and dismiss the case with prejudice.

         II. Factual Background

         On January 13, 2017, Plaintiff purchased a recreational vehicle (“RV”) from Defendant GRV at a trade show in Cleveland, Ohio. ECF No. 1-1, PageID.8. The RV was a new 2017 Thor Motor Coach 3901 Aria motorhome that was manufactured by Defendant Thor. Id. The final purchase price of the vehicle was $202, 076. Id. As part of the transaction, Plaintiff traded in a 2013 Cadillac SRX appraised at $21, 000. Id. at PageID.28.

         Plaintiff alleges that, upon agreement to purchase the vehicle, she was given various forms “to sign without any explanation or opportunity to read the forms.” Id. at PageID.8. During the transfer hearing in June, however, the Ohio state court found that Plaintiff had signed, initialed, and agreed to all of the sales transaction forms, referred to collectively as the Purchase Agreement. In fact, the Ohio court found that “Plaintiff attested and initialed in no fewer than five places that she was given an opportunity to, and did, review and understand the purchase documents. Among other things, Plaintiff acknowledged that she was not rushed into signing anything.” ECF No. 2, PageID.36. Many documents within the Purchase Agreement contain language pertinent to Plaintiff's claims, including one with a provision directly above Plaintiff's signature:

THIS PURCHASE AGREEMENT CONTAINS THE ENTIRE UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN GENERAL RV AND PURCHASER. NO ONE HAS AUTHORITY TO MAKE ANY REPRESENTATION BEYOND THIS AGREEMENT. NO OTHER REPRESENTATIONS OR INDUCEMENTS, VERBAL OR WRITTEN HAVE BEEN MADE, WHICH ARE NOT CONTAINED ON THIS DOCUMENT. PURCHASER HAS NOT RELIED ON ANYTHING WRITTEN INTO THIS PURCHASE AGREEMENT SUCH THAT NOTHING ELSE IS THE BASIS OF THE BARGAIN OR IS ENFORCEABLE AGAINST GENERAL RV, EVEN IF ALLEGED TO BE A MISREPRESENTATION. BY SIGNING BELOW, PURCHASER ACKNOWLEDGES THAT PURCHASER HAS RECEIVED A COPY OF THIS AGREEMENT AND THAT PURCHASER HAS READ AND UNDERSTANDS THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, INCLUDING THOSE PRINTED ON THE REVERSE SIDE, WHICH INCLUDE AN “AS IS” CLAUSE, A NONREFUNDABLE DEPOSIT STATEMENT, AND A CHOICE OF LAW AND FORUM SELECTION CLAUSES INDICATING THAT MICHIGAN LAW APPLIES TO ALL POTENTIAL DISPUTES AND THAT ALL CLAIMS MUST BE FILED IN MICHIGAN.

ECF No. 1-1, PageID.28 (emphasis added).

         Plaintiff additionally claims that Defendants engaged in deceptive trade practices and did not integrate the entire purchase agreement. Further, when Plaintiff took the RV to be repaired for an undisclosed issue, Defendants allegedly failed to perform repairs on the vehicle in a timely or workmanlike manner, among other claims. Id. at PageID.9.

         III. Procedural Background

         Plaintiff initiated this action in Ohio state court on January 11, 2019. See ECF No. 1-1. On February 14, 2019, Defendants removed the action to federal court in the Northern District of Ohio. ECF No. 1. The matter was subsequently transferred to this Court on June 25, 2019 in accordance with a forum selection clause within the vehicle purchase agreement. ECF No. 2, PageID.36. Defendants then filed the present motions on July 16, 2019. ECF Nos. 7, 8. Plaintiff received verification of certificate of service on July 18, 2019 but failed to respond to either motion. ECF No. 8.

         IV. ...


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