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Katz v. BMW of North America, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. California

September 17, 2019

SIMON KATZ, Plaintiff,
v.
BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND STAY ALL PROCEEDINGS, Re: Dkt. No. 19

          KANDIS A WESTMORE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         On June 24, 2019, Defendant BMW of North America, LLC filed a motion to compel arbitration and stay all proceedings.

         Upon review of the moving papers, the Court finds this matter suitable for resolution without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), and, for the reasons set forth below, GRANTS Defendant's motion to compel arbitration.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On May 12, 2017, Plaintiff leased a BMW M3, serial number WBS8M9C50H5G42179 (“Subject Vehicle”), from Peter Pan BMW (“the Dealer”). (Compl., Dkt. No. 1-1 at 2-3.[1]) Plaintiff alleges that, “in connection with the lease, Plaintiff received the express warranty of the manufacturer in that the written statement of Defendants…. accompanied the product.” (Compl., 3:11-14.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant BMW of North America, LLC “failed to conform the vehicle to their express warranty within a reasonable number of attempts or within 30 days.” (Compl., 4:8-10.) Plaintiff alleges violations of express and implied warranties under the Song- Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. Plaintiff initially sued both Defendant and the Dealer, but subsequently dismissed the Dealer before this case was removed to federal court. (Dismissal, Decl. of Reuthana Tap, “Tap Decl., ” Dkt. No. 26-1 ¶ 2, Ex. A.)

         The Lease Agreement is a 7-page document titled “BMW Financial Services NA, LLC - Lease Agreement Motor Vehicle Lease Agreement (Closed End) - California.” (Lease Agreement, RJN, Dkt. No. 20, Ex. A at 1.) The Lease Agreement states that it “is entered into between the lessee and … and the lessor (“Lessor”) and that “BMW FS will administer this Lease on behalf of itself or any assignee.” (Lease Agreement at 1.) The Lease Agreement contains the following arbitration clause:

38. ARBITRATION CLAUSE
PLEASE REVIEW - IMPORTANT - AFFECTS YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.
NOTICE: Either you or I may choose to have any dispute between us decided by arbitration and not in a court or by jury trial.
* * * *
“Claim” broadly means any claim, dispute or controversy, whether in contract, tort, statute or otherwise, whether preexisting, present or future, between me and you or your employees, officers, directors, affiliates, successors or assigns, or between me and any third parties if I assert a Claim against such parties in connection with a Claim I assert against you, which arises out of or relates to my credit application, lease, purchase or condition of this Vehicle (including any such relationship with third parties who do not sign this Lease).
* * * *
This Lease involves interstate commerce and this Arbitration Clause and any arbitration hereunder shall be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq. (“FAA”) and not by any state law concerning arbitration.

(Lease Agreement at 6.) Plaintiff signed the lease agreement, which contained the arbitration clause, on May 12, 2017. (Lease Agreement at 7.) The Lease Agreement further provides that “‘Assignee' refers to BMW Financial Services NA, LLC” (“BMW FS”).” (Lease Agreement at 1.) Defendant is a manager of BMW FS. (RJN, Ex. B.)

         Thereafter, Plaintiff presumably experienced problems with the Subject Vehicle, and filed this lawsuit on November 27, 2018. (See Compl. at 3.)

         On June 24, 2019, Defendant filed a motion to compel arbitration. (Def.'s Mot., Dkt. No. 19). On July 8, 2019, Plaintiff filed his opposition. (Pl.'s Opp'n, Dkt. No. 25.) On July 15, ...


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