United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
B. LEIGHTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant Ford's Motion to
Dismiss. Plaintiff Jessica Beatty claims her Ford Escape's
panoramic glass moon roof spontaneously shattered, due to a
manufacturing defect common to a wide range of Ford vehicles.
She claims that sunroof material is too thin, leading to
failure. She sued, seeking to represent a class of purchasers
of such vehicles. She asserts claims for breach of express
and implied warranties, fraudulent concealment, and breach of
Washington's Consumer Protection Act.
seeks dismissal, arguing that each claim fails as a matter of
law. It argues Beatty does not have standing to assert claims
related to Ford models she did not purchase and therefore
that the Court does not have jurisdiction. It argues that its
express warranty has expired by its terms, and that the
limitations period for any implied warranty claim has
expired. It argues that Beaty and the plaintiff class she
seeks to represent lack contractual privity with Ford because
she (and they) purchased vehicles from Ford dealers, not from
Ford. Ford argues Beaty's state law claims are
time-barred, that she has not pled and cannot plead that Ford
had knowledge of the defect, and that the alleged omission
was not likely to mislead. Ford seeks dismissal under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and (b)(6).
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) may be based on either the lack
of a cognizable legal theory or the absence of sufficient
facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory. Balistreri
v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th
Cir. 1990). A plaintiff's complaint must allege facts to
state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.
See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A
claim has “facial plausibility” when the party
seeking relief “pleads factual content that allows the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
Although the court must accept as true the Complaint's
well-pled facts, conclusory allegations of law and
unwarranted inferences will not defeat an otherwise proper
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Vazquez v. Los Angeles
Cty., 487 F.3d 1246, 1249 (9th Cir. 2007); Sprewell
v. Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir.
2001). “[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the
‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment] to
relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(citations and footnotes omitted). This requires a plaintiff
to plead “more than an unadorned,
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing id.).
Iqbal establishes the standard for deciding a Rule
12(b)(6) motion, Rule 12(c) is “functionally
identical” to Rule 12(b)(6) and that “the same
standard of review” applies to motions brought under
either rule. Cafasso, U.S. ex rel. v. General Dynamics C4
Systems, Inc., 647 F.3d 1047 (9th Cir. 2011),
citing Dworkin v. Hustler Magazine Inc., 867 F.2d
1188, 1192 (9th Cir.1989); see also Gentilello v.
Rege, 627 F.3d 540, 544 (5th Cir. 2010) (applying
Iqbal to a Rule 12(c) motion).
12(b)(6) motion, “a district court should grant leave
to amend even if no request to amend the pleading was made,
unless it determines that the pleading could not possibly be
cured by the allegation of other facts.” Cook,
Perkiss & Liehe v. N. Cal. Collection Serv., 911
F.2d 242, 247 (9th Cir. 1990). However, where the facts are
not in dispute, and the sole issue is whether there is
liability as a matter of substantive law, the court may deny
leave to amend. Albrecht v. Lund, 845 F.2d 193,
195-96 (9th Cir. 1988).
argues that because Beaty purchased only a 2013 Escape
Titanium model, she does not have standing to represent a
class composed of purchasers of other Ford vehicles. It
argues that Beaty seeks to represent purchasers of sixteen
models from Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, spanning eight model
years, with sunroofs manufactured by two different suppliers.
It claims that this disparity means that Beaty cannot meet
her burden of pleading (and demonstrating) that the products
at issue are “substantially similar.” See
generally Fed. R. Civ. P. 23; see also Lohr v.
Nissan North America, 2017 WL 1037555 (W.D. Wash.). It
argues that this dis-similarity means that Beaty does not
have standing to assert class claims on behalf of other,
non-similarly situated, plaintiff class members.
argues, persuasively, that “substantial
similarly” is part of Rule 23's requirement of
typicality, adequacy, and commonality; it is not a standing
(or jurisdictional) inquiry. See
considering a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1) or 12(b)(6), the court construes the
complaint in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. See Livid Holdings Ltd. v. Salomon Smith Barney,
Inc., 416 F.3d 940, 946 (9th Cir. 2005); see also
Wolfe v. Strankman, 392 F.3d 358, 362 (9th Cir. 2004).
Generally, the court must accept as true all well-pleaded
allegations of material fact and draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Wyler Summit
P'ship v. Turner Broad. Sys., Inc., 135 F.3d 658,
661 (9th Cir. 1998).
does not purport to place a numerical limit on the number of
vehicles a plaintiff can put at issue. There were seven
models there and there are 16 here, but that is not a
“legal and factual” distinction that warrants a
different result than the denial of Nissan's Motion to
Dismiss for lack of standing in that case. See Lohr
at *4. Beatty can and has sufficiently pled that the sunroof
defects are similar across the ...