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.

Torres v. Ford Motor Co.

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 3, 2018

RAUDEL R. TORRES, Plaintiff,
v.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY, a Delaware Corporation, and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS (DOC. NOS. 6, 8)

         This matter is before the court on defendant Ford Motor Company's (“Ford”) motion for judgment on the pleadings. (Doc. Nos. 6, 8.) A hearing on the motion was held on May 1, 2018. Attorney Christopher Swanson appeared telephonically on behalf of plaintiff Raudel Torres. Attorney Russel Macarthur Mortyn appeared telephonically on behalf of defendant. The court has considered the parties' briefs and oral arguments, and for the reasons set forth below, will grant defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings.

         BACKGROUND

         This dispute arises from plaintiff's purchase of a 2006 Ford F-250 truck in February 2007. (Doc. No. 1-2, Ex. A (“FAC”) at ¶ 8.) Plaintiff's FAC alleges as follows. Prior to purchasing the subject Ford F-250 truck, plaintiff received and read written promotional materials prepared by defendant Ford. (Id. at ¶ 21.) Among other representations, those promotional materials touted the F-250 as “best in class, ” with “unsurpassed diesel horsepower” and the “longest lasting diesel motor.” (Id.) Ford sales personnel also represented to plaintiff that the F-250 would offer superior power and tow capacity. (Id. at ¶ 25.) Relying on these written and verbal representations, plaintiff purchased the F-250 in Tulare, California on February 27, 2007. (Id. at ¶ 27.)

         Subsequent to purchase, plaintiff began experiencing problems with the vehicle, including frequent oil and coolant leaks, surging while driving, overheating while driving, and emission of white smoke. (Id. at ¶ 28.) Plaintiff attempted to have these issues fixed on numerous occasions during the five-year engine warranty. (Id. at ¶ 32; Doc. No. 10 at 1.) Each time, however, the defendant's mechanics attempted to make repairs to the vehicle's engine but failed to permanently remedy the problems. (FAC at ¶ 30.) Defendant's mechanics informed plaintiff that they could not fix the vehicle if they could not duplicate the problem. (Id. at ¶ 32.)

         Plaintiff alleges that defendant produced and sold the vehicle, knowing that it contained a defective engine, and that defendant offered limited repairs to customers that did not resolve the underlying defects but instead concealed the defects until the applicable warranties expired. (Id. at ¶ 35.) Plaintiff brought suit in Tulare County Superior Court on September 29, 2017. (Doc. No. 1 at 2.) Plaintiff subsequently filed a FAC on October 6, 2017, asserting six causes of action: (1) fraud in the inducement - intentional misrepresentation; (2) negligent misrepresentation; (3) fraud in the inducement - concealment; (4) fraud in the performance of contract - intentional misrepresentation; (5) violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1750, et seq. (“CLRA”); and (6) violation of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (“Song-Beverly Act”), Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1790 et seq. (See FAC at ¶¶ 123-311.)

         Defendant filed its answer on October 23, 2017, and removed this case to federal court on October 26, 2017. (Doc. Nos. 1, 1-2, Ex. B.) On November 16, 2017, defendant filed the instant motion for judgment on the pleadings. (Doc. No. 6.) On February 20, 2018, defendant filed an amended notice of motion in connection with the instant motion, solely to document compliance with the undersigned's meet and confer requirement. (Doc. No. 8.) Plaintiff filed an opposition on April 17, 2018, and defendant filed its reply on April 19, 2018. (Doc. Nos. 10, 11.)

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that “[a]fter the pleadings are closed-but early enough not to delay trial-a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.” In reviewing a motion brought under Rule 12(c), the court “must accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.” Fleming v. Pickard, 581 F.3d 922, 925 (9th Cir. 2009).

         The same legal standard applicable to a Rule 12(b)(6) motion applies to a Rule 12(c) motion. Dworkin v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 867 F.2d 1188, 1192 (9th Cir. 1989). Accordingly, “judgment on the pleadings is properly granted when, taking all the allegations in the non-moving party's pleadings as true, the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Marshall Naify Revocable Tr. v. United States, 672 F.3d 620, 623 (9th Cir. 2012) (quoting Fajardo v. County of Los Angeles, 179 F.3d 698, 699 (9th Cir. 1999)); see also Fleming, 581 F.3d at 925 (noting that “judgment on the pleadings is properly granted when there is no issue of material fact in dispute, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law”). The allegations of the nonmoving party must be accepted as true, while any allegations made by the moving party that have been denied or contradicted are assumed to be false. MacDonald v. Grace Church Seattle, 457 F.3d 1079, 1081 (9th Cir. 2006). The facts are viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and all reasonable inferences are drawn in favor of that party. Living Designs, Inc. v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 431 F.3d 353, 360 (9th Cir. 2005).

         Courts have discretion both to grant a motion for judgment on the pleadings with leave to amend or to simply grant dismissal of causes of action rather than grant judgment as to them. Lonberg v. City of Riverside, 300 F.Supp.2d 942, 945 (C.D. Cal. 2004) (citations omitted); see also Pac. W. Grp. v. Real Time Sols., Inc., 321 Fed. App'x 566, 569 (9th Cir. 2008);[1] Woodson v. State of California, No. 2:15-cv-01206-MCE-CKD, 2016 WL 524870, at *2 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 10, 2016). Generally, dismissal without leave to amend is proper only if it is clear that “the complaint could not be saved by any amendment.” Intri-Plex Techs. v. Crest Grp., 499 F.3d 1048, 1056 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing In re Daou Sys., Inc., 411 F.3d 1006, 1013 (9th Cir. 2005)); Ascon Props., Inc. v. Mobil Oil Co., 866 F.2d 1149, 1160 (9th Cir. 1989) (noting that “[l]eave need not be granted where the amendment of the complaint . . . constitutes an exercise in futility”).

         ANALYSIS

         Defendant moves for judgment on the pleadings on two grounds. First, defendant argues that plaintiff fails to state a claim for relief. Second, defendant contends that plaintiff fails to plead facts that excuse his noncompliance with the applicable statutes of limitations. As the statute of limitations issue may be dispositive of plaintiff's claims, the court considers it first.

         Plaintiff initiated this action on September 29, 2017, almost eleven years after plaintiff purchased the vehicle at issue. California law sets a three-year statute of limitations for claims of fraud, a three-year statute of limitations for claims under the CLRA, and a four-year statute of limitations for claims under the Song-Beverly Act. See Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 338 (fraud); Cal. Civ. Code § 1783 (CLRA); Krieger v. Nick Alexander Imports, Inc., 234 Cal.App.3d 205, 213- 15 (1991) (holding that although the Song-Beverly Act does not contain an express limitations period, the Act was intended to supplement the Uniform Commercial Code, which provides a four-year limitations period for breach of warranty).

         A. Delayed Discovery and ...


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.