Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Gardner v. Forest River, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division

July 5, 2017

Deny T. Gardner and, Kimberly D. Gardner, Plaintiffs,
v.
Forest River, Inc. and, Wagon Trail RV, LLC, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ROYCE C. LAMBERTH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Defendant Wagon Trail RV's Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Federal Rule of Procedure 12(b)(2), filed January 13, 2017, and Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Federal Rules of Procedure 12(b)(6) and 9(b), filed April 21, 2017. Having considered the motions, responses, replies, exhibits, filings, and applicable law, the Court denies the Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Federal Rule of Procedure 12(b)(2), but grants the Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Federal Rules of Procedure 12(b)(6) and 9(b).

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Gardners, plaintiffs, purchased a Dynamax DX3 (a motor home) from Wagon Trail RV in January 2015. Pl.'s Original Pet. 5, ECF No. 1-1. Wagon Trail is a motor home dealer in Las Vegas, and one of the few dealers in the United States that sells the Dynamax DX3, which is manufactured by Forest River, Inc. Id. The Gardners arranged for the purchase beforehand via email and phone, as they did when purchasing an earlier motor home from Wagon Trail. Id. When the Gardners traveled from San Antonio to Las Vegas to pick up the vehicle, several items were not operational or functional: the entry door into the compartment, the electronic keypad locking mechanism, the lights on the inside steps leading outward, and there was a leak in the shower. Id. at 5-6. The leak in the shower eventually warped the kitchen floor, which was discovered a few months later during a trip to Austin, Texas, during which the refrigerator and freezer were not operating properly. Id. at 6.

         The following February, the Gardners drove the motor home to Forest River's facility in Elkhart, Indiana to fix the floor. Id. During the repair, Forest River discovered that the entire underside of the rig was in an advanced stage of rusting. Id. Three weeks later, Forest River returned the motor home to the plaintiffs, and told them the floor was fixed and the rusting area was re-coated. Id. During a trip in July 2016, the ice and water mechanism on the refrigerator door stopped working, along with both the forward and rear air conditioning units and the floor began to warp again. Id. at 6-7. The following month, the right "slide" came out completely on its own, which rendered the vehicle inoperable until a repair person could tend to it 48 hours later. Id. at 7.

         Plaintiffs claim that from February 2015, to August 2016, they continually communicated these issues to Wagon Trail, who advised plaintiffs to contact Forest River for assistance. Id.

         Plaintiffs bring this action against defendants, alleging that they engaged in certain false, misleading and deceptive acts, practices and/or omissions actionable under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice - Consumer Protection Act. Tex. Bus. & Comm. CODE §17.41 et. seq. Id. at 7-9. Specifically, the plaintiffs allege violations of Sections 17.45(5), 17.46(b), and 17.50(a)(2) of the Texas Business and Commerce Code. Id. Plaintiffs sue for economic and actual damages, as well as damages for mental anguish, sustained as a result of these actions. Id. at 10-12.

         Plaintiffs filed this action on December 9. 2016, in the 131st Judicial District Court of Bexar County, Texas. Defendant Forest River, Inc., removed the case to this Court on January 11, 2017, with consent of co-defendant Wagon Trail RV, LLC. Defendant Wagon Trail filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction on January 13, 2017. Defendants filed a Joint Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim on April 21, 2017.

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         Defendant Wagon Trail moves to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2), and defendants jointly move to dismiss under Rules 12(b)(6) and 9(b) for failure to state a claim.

         a. 12(b)(2) Standard

         When a nonresident defendant moves to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, the plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating the district court's jurisdiction over the defendant. Wilson v. Belin, 20 F.3d 644, 648 (5th Cir. 1994). A federal court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant if (1) the long-arm statute of the forum state confers personal jurisdiction over that defendant; and (2) exercise of jurisdiction by the forum state is consistent with due process under the United States Constitution. See Latshaw v. Johnston, 167 F.3d 208, 211 (5th Cir. 1999). Texas' long-arm statute has been found to extend to the utmost limits of due process, and therefore the Court must determine whether subjecting nonresident defendants to suit in Texas would be consistent with the Fourteenth Amendment. See Mink v. AAAA Dev. LLC, 190 F.3d 333, 335 (5th Cir. 1999); See also Electrosource Inc. v. Horizon Battery Techs., Ltd., 176 F.3d 867, 871 (5th Cir. 1999).

         The due process clause is satisfied when it is established that (1) the nonresident defendant has purposefully availed itself of the benefits and protections of the forum state by establishing "minimum contacts" with the forum state; and (2) the exercise of jurisdiction over that defendant does not offend "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice." International Shoe Co. v. State of Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945).

         Minimum contacts are established through contacts which give rise to either specific jurisdiction or general jurisdiction. See Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472 (1985); Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 413 (1984). A forum state has general jurisdiction over a nonresident defendants if the defendant's contacts with the forum state are "continuous and systematic." Helicopteros, 466 U.S. at 414-15. If the defendant's contacts with the forum state are not sufficient to support general jurisdiction, specific jurisdiction may apply. The Fifth Circuit applies a three-part test to determine whether the exercise of specific jurisdiction is appropriate and consistent with the due process clause, considering (1) whether the defendant has minimum contacts with the forum state; (2) whether the plaintiffs cause of action arises out of those contacts; and (3) whether the exercise of personal jurisdiction is fair and reasonable. See Nuovo Pignone, PsA v. Storman Asia M/V, 310 F.3d 374, 378 (5th Cir. 2002) (citing Burger King, 471 U.S. at 474).

         If minimum contacts are found, the Court must then determine whether the exercise of jurisdiction is in keeping with "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice." International Shoe, 326 U.S. at 316. A defendant that purposefully directed its activities at forum residents must present a compelling case that the exercise of jurisdiction would be unreasonable given the circumstances. Burger King, 471 U.S. at 477.

         b. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.