United States District Court, E.D. California
RAUDEL R. TORRES, Plaintiff,
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)
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.
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
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.)
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 ¶¶
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.)
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).
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.
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); 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”).
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.
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).
Delayed Discovery and ...