United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
T. MOODY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
action, plaintiffs Linda and Wayne Brocuglio ("Brocuglio
Family"), citizens of North Carolina, bring claims
against Thor Motor Coach, Inc. ("Thor"). On
December 13, 2013, plaintiffs purchased a 2013 Four Winds
Class A motor coach vehicle ("RV") manufactured by
Thor. (DE # 1 at 2.) The RV was purchased at Carolina Coach
and Camper, LLC ("Carolina Coach"), a supplier,
merchant, and authorized representative of Thor.
(Id. at 3.) Within a week of their purchase,
plaintiffs discovered major water leakage problems in the RV
and returned it to Thor for servicing and repairs.
(Id. at 4.) This was just the beginning of
plaintiffs' problems with the RV, as they discovered
numerous defects requiring many lengthy repairs over the
course of the next year. (Id.) With the RV having
been in repair shops for a combined 160 days, plaintiffs
provided written notice to Thor demanding either a
replacement RV or their money back. (Id.)
refused this demand just as it had plaintiffs' previous
demands. (Id. at 4-5.) Instead, Thor promised
plaintiffs that, if given one more chance to repair the
vehicle, "it would be fixed correctly and [the Brocuglio
Family] would come away happy." (Id. at 5.)
Furthermore, Thor promised to provide continuous progress
updates on the repairs (including photographs of their work)
and to perform a "200 point" inspection before
returning it. (Id.; DE # 35-2 at 4.) Plaintiffs
agreed to yet another repair. However, plaintiffs allege that
Thor broke its promises by failing to provide progress
updates and more importantly, failing to satisfactorily
repair the RV. (DE # 1 at 5.)
filed this action bringing breach of warranty claims under
North Carolina law and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, as
well as a claim under the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive
Acts and Practices Statute ("UDTPA"). (DE #1.) Thor
has filed a Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings
as to the UDTPA claim based on the failure to allege
actionable conduct and, alternatively, based on the economic
loss rule. (DE # 26.) Thor has also moved under Rule 12(b)(1)
to dismiss plaintiffs' warranty claims for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction based on the failure to meet the
minimum amount-in-controversy requirements. (Id.)
For the following reasons, Thor's motion will be granted,
in part, and denied, in part.
has also moved to exclude the valuation testimony of
plaintiffs' expert, Tom Bailey. (DE # 24.) The Brocuglio
Family has filed their own motion to strike various exhibits
accompanying Thor's motions. (DE # 31.) Both motions will
be denied as moot.
reviewing a motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to
Rule 12(c), the court applies the same standard that is
applied when reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6). Pisciotta v. Old Nat'l Bancorp., 499
F.3d 629, 633 (7th Cir. 2007). That means that the court
"take[s] the facts alleged in the complaint as true,
drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the
plaintiff." Id. The complaint must contain only
"a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P.
there is no need for detailed factual allegations, the
complaint must "give the defendant fair notice of what
the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests."
Pisciotta, 499 F.3d at 633 (citation omitted).
Factual allegations also must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the "speculative level" to the level
of "plausible." Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570 (2007); Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009). A claim has facial
plausibility "when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949. In examining the facts and
matching them up with the stated legal claims, the court must
give "the plaintiff the benefit of imagination, so long
as the hypotheses are consistent with the complaint."
Sanjuan v. Am. Bd. of Psych. & Neur., Inc., 40
F.3d 247, 251 (7th Cir. 1994).
a 12(b)(6) motion, a plaintiff defending a 12(c) motion
"can elaborate on his factual allegations so long as the
new elaborations are consistent with the pleadings, "
and may "submit materials outside the pleadings to
illustrate the facts [he] expects to be able to prove."
Geinosky v. City of Chicago, 675 F.3d 743, 745 n.l
(7th Cir. 2012); see Id. ("In the turmoil
concerning civil pleading standards stirred up by
[Iqbal] and [Twombly], a plaintiff who is
opposing a Rule 12(b)(6) or Rule 12(c) motion and who can
provide such illustration may find it prudent to do
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure command that courts dismiss
any suit over which they lack subject matter jurisdiction.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1). In ruling on such a
motion, the court "must accept the complaint's
well-pleaded factual allegations as true and draw reasonable
inferences from those allegations in the plaintiff's
favor." Franzoni v. Hartmarx Corp., 300 F.3d
767, 771 (7th Cir. 2002). However, the court may also
"properly look beyond the jurisdictional allegations of
the complaint and view whatever evidence has been submitted
on the issue to determine whether in fact subject matter
jurisdiction exists." Capitol Leasing Co. v.
F.D.I.C, 999 F.2d 188, 191 (7th Cir. 1993).
the amount in controversy claimed by a plaintiff in good
faith will be determinative on the issue of jurisdictional
amount, unless it appears to a legal certainty that the claim
is for less than that required by the rule." NLFC,
Inc. v. Devcom Mid-Americam Inc.,45 F.3d 231, 237 (7th
Cir. 1995). If material factual allegations are contested,
the proponent of federal jurisdiction must "prove those
jurisdictional facts by a preponderance of the
evidence." Meridian Sec. Ins. Co. v. Sadowski,441 F.3d 536, 543 (7th Cir. 2006). "Once the facts have
been established, uncertainty about whether the plaintiff can
prove its substantive claim, and whether damages (if the
plaintiff prevails on the merits) will exceed the threshold,
does not justify dismissal." Id. (citing
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