United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
S. HANEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Defendant Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC's
("MBUSA") Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Summary
Judgment. [ECF No. 18]. Plaintiff has filed his response in
opposition. [ECF No. 19]. Having considered the motion,
response in opposition, summary judgment evidence, and
applicable law, the Court herein determines that MBUSA's
motion for summary judgment should be granted.
a products liability case arising from the purchase of a 2000
Mercedes Benz S500 by pro se Plaintiff Ali Yazdchi
("Yazdchi"), equipped with an allegedly defective
car jack. Yazdchi alleges that while he was traveling on a
Texas highway (sometime in December 2016), he used the car
jack for the first time to replace a flat tire. [ECF No. 1
¶ 6]. Yazdchi alleges that when he tried to use the car
jack to raise the car, it bent, causing the car to fall on
the ground and injure him and damage the car. [Id.].
As a result, Yazdchi claims to have suffered severe pain and
accrued medical bills to treat his injuries. [Id.].
On December 14, 2018, Yazdchi filed his Complaint and an
application to proceed in forma pauperis, the latter
of which was approved on January 3, 2019. Yazdchi's
Complaint alleges that MBUSA is liable for his pain and
suffering, permanent disability, medical expenses, and lost
wages under theories of negligence, gross negligence, and
strict products liability. [Id. ¶¶ 7, 10,
12]. Yazdchi filed his claims in federal court claiming
diversity jurisdiction, as he resides in Harris County,
Texas, and MBUSA is a corporation incorporated and with its
principal place of business in Georgia. [Id.
¶¶ 1-2]. He claims that his damages exceed $75,
000. [Id. ¶ 5]. Yazdchi also seeks
"exemplary" damages. [Id. ¶ 10].
moved to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) on March 25, 2019. [ECF No. 9]. This Court denied
the motion without prejudice but allowed the Parties to file
for summary judgment with corresponding evidence. [ECF No.
17]. MBUSA then filed the instant motion to dismiss and for
summary judgment. [ECF No. 18]. MBUSA argues that
Yazdchi's claims are barred both by Texas' statute of
repose and statute of limitations, as he allegedly brought
these claims more than 15 years after MBUSA sold the car and
more than two years after his claims accrued. [Id.].
Yazdchi filed his response in opposition, [ECF No. 19], in
which he primarily contests whether he was properly served
with the motion for summary judgment and disputes MBUSA's
affidavit attached to its motion. Although Yazdchi complains
about not being served in his response, it is clear from the
fact that he responded (and did so within the deadlines set
by the Court) that he received it. Regardless, despite this
disagreement, this Court has received and considered the
response. Thus, the motion is now ripe for ruling.
Motion for Sanctions
Court further notes that in MBUSA's motion, it maintained
its pending request for sanctions against Yazdchi as a
vexatious litigant. [ECF No. 18 n.l]. The Court need not
recount the long list of cases submitted to the Court that
involve Yazdchi but will briefly address the basis for this
motion. In January 2016, a judge in the 215th Judicial
District of Harris County, Texas, determined Yazdchi to be a
vexatious litigant under the Texas Civil Practice &
Remedies Code. It found that he had engaged in five or more
such cases within a seven-year period and that he had a
"long history of vexatious litigation." Yazdchi
v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 2015-11585 (215th Dist.
Ct, Harris County, Tex. Jan. 15, 2016). That Court
"prohibit[ed] Ali Yazdchi from filing any new pro se
litigation in any court in the state of Texas without
permission of the appropriate local administrative judge.
This Order applies to every court in the state of
Texas." Id. Further, an almost identical
prohibition was entered against Yazdchi in July 2015 by the
151st Judicial District of Harris County, Texas. Yazdchi
v. BBVA Compass Bank, No. 2015-0657, at *4 (151st Dist.
Ct., Harris County, Tex. July 13, 2015). The Southern
District of Texas has also previously acknowledged
Yazdchi's history of frivolous litigation and stated that
"Yazdchi is specifically warned that continued frivolous
litigation will result in sanctions." Yazdchi v.
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 4:15-cv-00121, 2015 WL
12551491, at 4 (S.D. Tex. Dec. 28, 2015) (Rosenthal, J.).
While this Court declines to issue sanctions at this
juncture, the Court will again specifically remind the
Plaintiff that just because it is not granting sanctions in
the instant case, this Court or others may very well do so in
the future if frivolous litigation is filed.
Motion to Dismiss
Court, as per its earlier notice, is treating this motion as
a motion for summary judgment under Rule 56 and therefore
need not discuss the law that governs motions to dismiss.
Motions for Summary Judgment
judgment is warranted "if the movant shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). Once a movant submits a properly supported motion, the
burden shifts to the nonmovant to show that the court should
not grant the motion. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 321-25 (1986). The nonmovant then must provide
specific facts showing that there is a genuine dispute.
Id. at 324; Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). A dispute
about a material fact is genuine if "the evidence is
such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The court must draw all
reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party in deciding a summary judgment motion.
Id. at 255. The key question on summary judgment is
whether a hypothetical, reasonable factfmder could find in
favor of the nonmoving party. Id. at 248.
considering the evidence presented by the parties, the Fifth
Circuit has made clear that "unsubstantiated assertions
are not competent summary judgment evidence" and that
"[s]ummary judgment. . . may be appropriate, even in
cases where elusive concepts such as motive or intent are at
issue, ... if the nonmoving party rests merely upon
conclusory allegations, improbable inferences, and
unsupported speculation." Forsyth v. Barr, 19
F.3d 1527, 1533 (5th Cir. 1994); Krim v. BancTexas Grp.,
Inc., 989 F.2d 1435, 1449 (5th Cir. 1993).