United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division
Deny T. Gardner and, Kimberly D. Gardner, Plaintiffs,
Forest River, Inc. and, Wagon Trail RV, LLC, Defendants.
C. LAMBERTH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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,
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
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).
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).
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).
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.