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Mathews v. Allied Recreation Group, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division

April 2, 2018

VANESSA MATHEWS and RANDY MATHEWS, Plaintiffs,
v.
REV RECREATION GROUP, INC., Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          William C. Lee, Judge

         This matter is before the Court for resolution of three pending motions. Defendant REV Recreation Group, Inc., filed a motion for summary judgment (ECF 29), to which Plaintiffs Vanessa and Randy Mathews filed a response in opposition (ECF 37) and REV replied (ECF 40). REV also filed a “Motion to Strike Expert Opinion of Tom Bailey” (ECF 28), to which the Mathews filed a response in opposition (ECF 36) and REV replied (ECF 39). The last motion is the Mathews' “Motion for Leave to Amend Plaintiffs' Brief in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment Nunc Pro Tunc” (ECF 41), to which REV filed a response in opposition (ECF 42) and the Mathews replied (ECF 43). Because the undisputed material facts preclude the Mathews' claims, REV's motion for summary judgment (ECF 29) is GRANTED; REV's motion to strike expert opinion (ECF 28) is DENIED AS MOOT; and the Mathews' motion to amend their brief in opposition is DENIED AS MOOT.

         SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

         Summary judgment is appropriate when the record shows that there is “no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). Disputes concerning material facts are genuine where the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In deciding whether genuine issues of material fact exist, the court construes all facts in a light most favorable to the non-moving party and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. See Id. at 255. However, neither the “mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties, ” id., 477 U.S. at 247, nor the existence of “some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts, ” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986), will defeat a motion for summary judgment. Michas v. Health Cost Controls of Ill., Inc., 209 F.3d 687, 692 (7th Cir. 2000).

         Summary judgment is not a substitute for a trial on the merits nor is it a vehicle for resolving factual disputes. Waldridge v. Am. Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 920 (7th Cir. 1994). Therefore, after drawing all reasonable inferences from the facts in favor of the non-movant, if genuine doubts remain and a reasonable fact-finder could find for the party opposing the motion, summary judgment is inappropriate. See Shields Enterprises, Inc. v. First Chicago Corp., 975 F.2d 1290, 1294 (7th Cir. 1992); Wolf v. City of Fitchburg, 870 F.2d 1327, 1330 (7th Cir. 1989). If it is clear that a plaintiff will be unable to satisfy the legal requirements necessary to establish his or her case, summary judgment is not only appropriate, but mandated. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322; Ziliak v. AstraZeneca LP, 324 F.3d 518, 520 (7th Cir. 2003). “A genuine dispute as to any material fact exists if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Kvapil v. Chippewa Cty., 752 F.3d 708, 712 (7th Cir. 2014) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). In deciding whether a dispute exists, the Court must “construe all facts and reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party.” Nat'l Am. Ins. Co. v. Artisan & Truckers Cas. Co., 796 F.3d 717, 723 (7th Cir. 2015) (citation omitted). Under Rule 56, the movant has the initial burden of establishing that a trial is not necessary. Sterk v. Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, 770 F.3d 618, 627 (7th Cir. 2014). “That burden may be discharged by showing . . . that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case.” Id. (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). The nonmovant “must go beyond the pleadings (e.g., produce affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories, or admissions on file) to demonstrate that there is evidence upon which a jury could properly proceed to find a verdict in [its] favor.” Id. (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). “The existence of a mere scintilla of evidence, however, is insufficient to fulfill this requirement.” Wheeler v. Lawson, 539 F.3d 629, 634 (7th Cir. 2008). “[S]peculation and conjecture” also cannot defeat a motion for summary judgment. Cooney v. Casady, 735 F.3d 514, 519 (7th Cir. 2013). In addition, not all factual disputes will preclude the entry of summary judgment, only those that “could affect the outcome of the suit under governing law.” Outlaw v. Newkirk, 259 F.3d 833, 837 (7th Cir. 2001) (citation omitted). Finally, “[t]he court must not weigh the evidence presented or determine credibility of witnesses; the Seventh Circuit instructs that ‘we leave those tasks to factfinders.'” Winston v. Sauvey, 2016 WL 7480393, at *1 (E.D. Wis. Dec. 29, 2016) (quoting Berry v. Chicago Transit Auth., 618 F.3d 688, 691 (7th Cir. 2010)).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Background.

         On October 30, 2017, the parties filed a joint motion to extend the briefing schedule for the motion for summary judgment and for permission to file briefs in excess of the page limitations contained in this Court's local rules. Joint Motion (ECF 35). The parties claimed that they needed more time and more pages “[t]o fully address all of the issues and laws involved in this complex and hotly disputed case” and the “complex factual and legal issues that this case raises.” Id., p. 2. The Court has reviewed the parties' briefs (and all the evidence submitted with them) and agrees this case is “hotly disputed.” The only part of the case that is “complex, ” however, is the facts, and even then the situation is more messy than it is complex.

         The parties' claims and defenses are straightforward. The following paragraph from the Plaintiffs' complaint summarizes the basis for their lawsuit:

This case involves a defective 2014 Holiday Rambler recreational vehicle that defendant designed, constructed, and warranted but which it was not able to repair within a reasonable number of chances or a reasonable amount of time and whose express and/or implied warranties defendant breached.

         Amended Complaint (ECF 21), p. 3. The Mathews purchased the RV, which was manufactured and warranted by REV, [1] from Mellott Brothers Trailer Sales in Willow Street, Pennsylvania, on May 7, 2014. Id., p. 4. The Mathews claim that the new RV had problems or defects from the get-go and that “[w]ithin a few short hours, problems with this new RV began to occur, starting with defects in the room slide out and electrical system fuses inexplicably ‘blowing' that caused lights not to work, among other things.” Id. The Mathews took the RV to an RV mechanic for repair, and later to REV's factory on two occasions, but they allege that the problems were not fixed and even more appeared during the time they owned the vehicle. The Mathews state that the problems with the RV that arose within hours after they took delivery were a harbinger and that “[t]heir nightmare was just beginning.” Id. They elaborate as follows:

After acquiring the vehicle, the Mathews Family discovered that the RV did not conform to the representations of defendant inasmuch as it developed continuing malfunctions, defects and problems and that was unfair and/or deceptive and/or unconscionable to the Mathews Family. . . . Ever since purchasing the RV, the RV has been defective in spite of repeated repair attempts with no success. The warrantor's agent tried fixing the RV's many defects repeatedly, telling Plaintiffs each time that it was repaired afterwards. The Mathews Family would then realize later that it wasn't. In spite of the Mathews Family's numerous complaints and defendant's warranty-covered repair attempts, serious and substantial accident damage as well as slideout defects in the RV were never fixed at all and that was unfair and/or deceptive and/or unconscionable to the Mathews Family. The Mathews Family notified both the dealer and the defendant of this and many more defects in the RV and eventually asked the defendant to buy the RV back. It would not do so and that was unfair and/or deceptive and/or unconscionable to the Mathews Family.

Id., pp. 6-7. Based on those allegations, the Mathews are pursuing the following claims against REV:

1) “[B]reach of express and/or implied warranties by the defendant in Pennsylvania and/or Virginia and/or Indiana.” Id., p. 3.[2] 2) “[V]iolation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. 2301, et seq.” Id., p. 14; and 3) “[V]iolation of applicable state Udap laws, being the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, and/or the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, and/or the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act[.]” Id., p. 14.[3] The Plaintiffs seek compensatory damages “[o]r, in the alternative . . . equitable relief including rescission[.]” Id., p. 17.

         REV cheerfully acknowledges that when the Mathews purchased the RV they “were provided a One Year Limited Warranty.” Defendant's Memorandum, p. 2. This Limited Warranty, like all such warranties, imposed duties on both the seller/manufacturer and the purchasers. REV was bound to repair any faulty or defective “components, assemblies and systems” of the RV “for twelve months from the original retail purchase.” Id., p. 3 (citing Exh. D (ECF 30-4), Limited Warranty).[4] In order to take advantage of the Limited Warranty, the Mathews were required by its express terms to: “notify Warrantor or one of its authorized servicing dealers of the defect within the warranty coverage period and within five (5) days of discovering the defect; and . . . deliver your [RV] to Warrantor or Warrantor's authorized servicing dealer at your cost and expense.” Id. The Limited Warranty further provides that “[i]f the repair or replacement remedy fails to successfully cure a defect after Warrantor received a reasonable opportunity to cure the defect(s), your sole and exclusive remedy shall be limited to Warrantor paying you the cost of having an independent third party perform repair(s) to the defect(s).” Id. This clause, explains REV, sets forth the “two remedies should a service item occur: (1) as a repair remedy, REV will repair the issue (under the terms of the warranty) . . .; and (2) if the Repair Remedy fails, REV will pay the Mathews' actual costs to have an independent third party (of the Mathews' choosing) perform the repairs (the ‘Back-Up Remedy').” Id., pp. 4-5.

         REV argues that it is entitled to summary judgment on all of the Mathews' claims for the following reasons:

Each count is premised upon the same allegation: REV failed to live up to its express and/or implied warranties. The evidence demonstrates, however, that REV fully performed under its Limited Warranty. The Mathews presented their RV for repair on only two occasions during the 1 year period of the warranty. The Mathews also opted to deal with certain purported issues on their own and outside of the express terms of the Limited Warranty. Because the Mathews did not adequately or timely avail themselves to the Repair Remedy and Back-up Remedy of the Limited Warranty, Summary Judgment is appropriate on all counts.

Id., pp. 1-2.

         To summarize, the Mathews assert that they purchased a “lemon” and allege that REV is liable to them because it failed to honor its warranties; and REV contends it did all it could to remedy problems and that the Mathews voided or nullified warranty coverage by failing to notify REV of problems in a proper or timely manner and by having the RV repaired by unauthorized mechanics.

         II. The undisputed material facts establish that REV did not breach any express or implied warranties.

         With the stage set, the Court will unravel what it referred to above as the “messy” facts. Once the layers of the onion are peeled away the undisputed material facts become clear-and they bar the Mathews' claims.

         Again, the heart of REV's argument in support of its motion is its contention that it did not breach any warranty, express or implied, and that the undisputed facts show the opposite-that REV addressed every problem or issue the Mathews presented to them and that the Mathews did not give REV notice of, or opportunity to cure, other alleged problems. REV begins by stating that “[i]mmediately following the purchase of the RV, the Mathews . . . allege they experienced . . . issues, which they reported to the selling dealership, via telephone. . . . But the RV was not brought into the dealership for repairs.” Defendant's Memorandum, p. 5 (citing Exh. A (ECF 30-1), Deposition of R. Mathews). REV states that “[a]s the weekend continued, the Mathews also noted that the shower leaked . . . and the bedroom TV did not work. The Mathews did not report those issues to the selling dealership. . . . Mr. Mathews did not call anyone and did not report the issues to anyone else, including, most notably, REV.” Id. REV further claims that “[i]n June 2014, the Mathews . . . allege they experienced [more] issues[, ]” that Mr. Mathews called Mellott Brothers to report these additional problems, and “was given the number for REV so he could find a closer authorized repair center.” Id. According to REV, “contrary to the terms in the Limited Warranty, in July 2014 Mr. Mathews decided to take the RV to Johnson's RV to perform repairs. Johnson's RV is not authorized by REV to perform warranty service, but Mr. Mathews had used Johnson's RV to service his previous RV. . . . Mr. Mathews did not notify REV that the RV was at Johnson's. . . [and] no one from Johnson's RV ever presented repair estimates or invoices to REV.” Id., p. 6. According to REV, the Mathews also took the RV to Johnson's in October of 2014 “to have a new slide cable installed.” Id. REV claims that the Mathews did deliver the RV to the company “for repairs beginning December 15, 2014[, ]” that the vehicle “was at the REV factory from December 15, 2014 to December 19, 2014[, ]” during which time “[e]ach of the [issues reported] . . . were remedied[.]” Id. (citing Exh. C (ECF 30-3), Affidavit of A. Brooks; Exh. A, Deposition of R. Mathews). A few weeks later, “[a]s a gesture of goodwill, REV issued an additional warranty (‘extended warranty'), administered under the terms of the original Limited Warranty. The Extended Warranty was valid until November 7, 2015.” Id., p. 8 (citing Exh. H (ECF 30-8), Letter from J. Hurd to R. Mathews). REV contends that “[o]n March 3, 2015, after experiencing an issue with the cable for the main slide, Mr. Mathews contacted REV” and “[t]his was the first time REV was presented with an issue related to the main slide cable.” Id. The vehicle was delivered to REV for repairs and the Mathews “reported only three issues: [1] The A/C ‘couldn't keep up'; [2] Curbside slide had a broken cable; [3] Sealing tape on the slides had failed.” Id. REV claims that it “assessed the three issues, determining that the A/C was functioning appropriately and remedying the other [two] issues.” Id. According to REV, “[t]he Mathews did not again present the RV to REV or any REV authorized repair representatives for any additional issues[]” and “have never presented REV with any costs, estimates, or invoices under the Back-Up Remedy of the Limited Warranty.” Id. Based on these factual assertions, REV argues that it honored the terms of its warranty but the Mathews did not, thereby foreclosing this lawsuit and entitling REV to summary judgment.

         The Mathews don't actually dispute the material facts so much as hide them within their broader narrative, which is that the Holiday Rambler was a deeply flawed piece of machinery that REV did not repair to the Mathews' satisfaction after repeated opportunities to do so and therefore a jury could conclude that REV breached its warranties. But while the facts and evidence support the Mathews' contention that the RV had numerous problems, they do not support the allegations that REV failed to honor its warranty obligations. The Mathews' frustration is understandable (and palpable in their briefs), but the undisputed facts-virtually all of which come directly from the testimony of Plaintiff Randy Mathews-reveal that they do not have a valid cause of action against REV. In this instance, no conflicting evidence needs to be weighed and no credibility determinations need to be made, and REV is entitled to judgment as a matter of law for the reasons discussed below.

         It is well established, as this Court has noted, that “to prevail on a breach of warranty claim under Indiana law, the plaintiff must show (1) the existence of a warranty; (2) breach of that warranty; and (3) that the breach was the proximate cause of the loss sustained.” Swan Lake Holdings, LLC, 2010 WL 3894576, at *3 (citing Irmscher Suppliers, Inc. v. Schuler, 909 N.E.2d 1040, 1048 (Ind.Ct.App. 2009); Frantz v. Cantrell, 711 N.E.2d 856, 860 (Ind.Ct.App. 1999); Peltz Const. Co. v. Dunham, 436 N.E.2d 892, 894 (Ind.Ct.App. 1982)). “The standard to be applied in determining whether or not there has been a breach of warranty is one of reasonableness in light of surrounding circumstances.” Id. (quoting Barnes v. Mac Brown and Co., Inc., 342 N.E.2d 619, 621 (Ind. 1976)). The same is true with an implied warranty of merchantability. “Indiana recognizes implied warranties of fitness for a particular purpose and implied warranties of merchantability.” Hyundai Motor Am., Inc. v. Goodin, 822 N.E.2d 947, 951-52 (Ind. 2005) (citing Ind. Code §§ 26-1-2-314, 315 (2003)). The “implied warranty of merchantability is imposed by operation of law for the protection of the buyer and must be liberally construed in favor of the buyer.” Frantz v. Cantrell, 711 N.E.2d at 859. “An action based on breach of warranty requires evidence showing not only the existence of the warranty but also that the warranty was broken and that the breach was the proximate cause of the loss.” Id. at 860.

         REV argues that “the Mathews cannot establish a breach of the express warranty because REV addressed and repaired all issues which it was presented with during the one-year warranty period.” Defendant's Memorandum, p. 11. REV states that “[a]s express warranties are ‘contractual in nature, the language of the warranty itself is what controls and dictates the obligations and rights of the various parties.'” Id. (quoting Medline Indus. v. Ram Med., Inc., 892 F.Supp.2d 957, 968 (N.D.Ill. 2012)). REV also states that “[a] warrantor is not obligated to perform repairs which are presented to it outside the terms of an express limited warranty.” Id., p. 13 (citing Popham v. Keystone RV Co., 2016 LEXIS 127093, *13 (N.D.Ind. Sept. 19, 2016) (“When breach of an express warranty occurs is a straightforward analysis: it must occur if it is to occur at all, before the express warranty ends.”)). REV argues that “[b]ecause the issues the Mathews currently complain about were not presented to REV in accordance with the Limited Warranty (i.e. five days after discovery and to an authorized dealer) and not within the 1 year period of the Limited Warranty, summary judgment is appropriate.” Id., p. 14.

         The undisputed material facts in this case, the determinative ones, are tucked within Randy Mathews' own sworn testimony, and come into focus after a detailed (and somewhat lengthy) examination of that testimony, as well as other evidence submitted by both sides. To begin, Mr. Mathews testified that the first problems he and his wife encountered after taking delivery of the RV included the blowing fuses, the refrigerator not working, and the leveling system working only intermittently. R. Mathews Depo., (ECF 30-1), pp. 45-46. Mr. Mathews called John Hurd at Mellott Brothers, who told him to replace the fuses “and see what happened.” Id., p. 47. Mr. Mathews did so, but it the problem persisted. Id. Mr. Mathews called Mr. Hurd again, “but as we got into the weekend they weren't available.” Id., p. 47. Mr. Mathews recalled making only one attempt to contact Mr. Hurd and did not testify to making any follow-up calls concerning this issue. Id., pp. 47-48. It was during that same weekend trip-the one to Hershey, Pennsylvania, that the Mathews took immediately after taking delivery of the RV-that they noticed more problems, including a leaking shower door, condensation forming on the refrigerator, and a television and DVD player that did not work. Id., p. 48. However, when asked whether he informed Mellott about these issues Mr. Mathews conceded that “I did not.” Id. The Mathews did not use the RV again until June 20, 2014, when they set out on their second trip in the vehicle. Id. Mr. Mathews testified as follows:

Q.: Between that trip to Hershey and [the June 20 trip], did you take your unit anywhere to be serviced for those issues that you had spotted on your first trip?
A.: I did not. I did not yet.
Q.: Did you call anybody, once you got home, about those issues?
A.: No. Id., pp. 48-49. During their second trip, the Mathews contend that fuses were still blowing, the leveling jack still operated only intermittently, and the curbside slide cable broke. Id., p. 49. The next contact that the Mathews had with REV was on June 23, 2014, when he called John Hurd at Mellott Brothers, who in turn told him to call Tina. Id., p. 50-51. This is the conversation that began the chain of events that culminated in the Mathews taking the RV to Johnson's. Here is the play-by-play from Mr. Mathews' deposition:
Q.: What did you and Tina discuss?
A.: Tina was kind enough to go through her list. She put me on hold for a minute and went through her list and found me what she called a factory [authorized] dealer in Gloucester, Virginia. She gave me the phone number, and I called that dealer.
Q.: Did you report to Tina any of the problems that you were experiencing with the RV?
A.: As a recap, yes.
Q.: And at that point, June 23rd, 2014, did you understand that [REV] would work through factory-authorized dealers to take care of warranty issues?
A.: I understood that they may have a preference of dealers that they may want me to take it to, so I was agreeable to use their recommendation.

Id., pp. 51-52. Of course, the dealer Tina recommended turned out not to be factory authorized so Mr. Mathews called Tina again for assistance:

Q.: Did you call Tina back?
A.: I'm pretty sure I did[.] I think I called her back and we discussed having a dealer close by me service the unit. And I understood the circumstance to be that they would have to approve the repair. . . .
Q.: . . . How did you come to Johnson's R.V.?
A.: I had used Johnson's previously . . . .”
Q.: And you dropped your unit off on July 11th?
A.: That's right. . . .
Q.: . . . And after you called Rick Johnson to make this July 11 appointment, did you notify [REV] of that fact?
A.: Did I? No.
Q.: Okay. And when you dropped it off on July 11th, what did you ask Rick Johnson to do?
A.: To focus on the soundbar, the television, the broken cable mainly because the thing is inoperable with a broken cable, and see if he could figure out why the converter was blowing fuses.

Id., pp. 51-54. The RV remained at Johnson's from July 11, 2014, until late August. Id. When Mr. Mathews picked the vehicle up he was told by Rick Johnson that “he had repaired the slide cable, that the sound bar was not repairable and that the factory was going to send him a replacement, and that the bedroom TV problem was yet to be resolved. He thought it was the remote, and that he couldn't find a fault with the converter at the time. Id., p. 56. Mr. Mathews further testified as follows:

Q.: And did Rick Johnson tell you he had been in touch with the factory about these repairs?
A.: I was under the impression that he had been in touch with the factory. . . .
Q.: Did you pay them[?]
A.: I didn't pay them anything on this. . . . .
Q.: So did you call Tina or anyone else with the factory from that time, June 23rd of 2014 through August 27 of 2014?
A.: Not that I recall.

Id., pp. 57, 60.

         The two repair visits to Johnson's are a subplot in themselves, and a significant one-not so much for the reasons the parties discuss, but (again) for the undisputed material facts that are revealed when the devilish details are unraveled.

         It is undisputed that the Mathews were told about the one-year Limited Warranty at the time they purchased the RV. It is also undisputed that the Mathews knew that under the terms of that warranty, any mechanic to whom they took the unit for servicing would have to obtain prior approval before performing warranty repairs to the vehicle (having been told that specifically by Tina). Mr. Mathews believed he could have the RV serviced at Johnson's because the dealer Tina told him to contact turned out not to be an authorized servicer. But he concedes that his decision to take the vehicle to Johnson's was unilateral and based on the fact that he had done business with Johnson's in the past.

         The significance of the two repair visits to Johnson's, according to the Mathews, is that they both involved a broken curb side slide-out cable, and therefore constitute two repair attempts under the Limited Warranty. Plaintiffs' Response, p. 10. Making a leap of logic then, the Mathews contend that when they agreed in May of 2015 to allow REV to perform repairs to the unit in its factory-including repairing a broken slide cable again-it was the third time that REV repaired the same problem. Id., p. 13 (“The RV was at [REV's] factory repair facility a second time from May 1, 2015 until June 25, 2015 for repair of . . . [the] curb side slide out cable . . . [third time].”). In other words, the first two repairs completed at Johnson's should be imputed to REV because Mr. Mathews mistakenly believed that Johnson's was authorized to perform warranty repairs and mistakenly believed that Ricky Johnson had contacted the factory to obtain that authorization. The Mathews then argue that the warranty in this case was breached because REV had three opportunities to repair the problem with the cable but it “failed to repair the RV's defects within a reasonable amount of time and within a reasonable number of repair attempts.” Id., p. 22 (italics added); see also, id., p. 36 (“[REV] had a reasonable opportunity to repair all alleged defects. . . . [REV] had several chances . . . to repair the RV's many defects within the first year.”).

         The parties devote a lot of space to debating the issue, but in the end it doesn't matter whether Johnson's was authorized to perform work on the RV. The material undisputed facts to be gleaned from the parties' debate about this are that Mr. Mathews informed REV on June 23, 2014, during his phone conversation with Tina, that the RV had mechanical problems. Tina told him to contact an RV dealer near him that turned out not to be an authorized servicer. Mr. Mathews called Tina again and she told him he could take the RV to a servicer near him but that the servicer would have to obtain approval before performing repairs. The Mathews took the RV to Johnson's for repair, the work was performed, and the Mathews were told that the work was “covered” under their warranty. In truth, and adding a quirky twist, Johnson's never obtained approval for its work on the RV nor did it get paid for that work, but not because REV refused to honor its warranty. Instead, Johnson's never submitted the necessary paperwork. The work was completed on August 18, 2014, but Johnson's never obtained approval, never received payment for the work, and the Mathews were never charged for that work.

         Ricky Johnson, the owner of Johnson's RV, was deposed and testified as follows:

Q.: Tell us what happened there.
A.: Well, Mr. Mathews brought it in. We noticed that the rearward cable was snapped on the slide-out. He also had some other issues with the sound bar and the bedroom TV.
Q.: And what did you do?
A.: First called [the factory] about doing the warranty work on there. They said they needed an estimate for repairs. That's when I got them together.
We were very extremely [sic] busy at that time, and I neglected to follow up on turning this in because we were so busy. Mr. Mathews needed his RV back, so I repaired the RV before I actually got authorization on the unit.
Q.: Okay. Did you ultimately get authorization to do the work that ...

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