the plaintiff has already claimed generous (if not questionable) sums for aggravation and inconvenience ($ 15,000) and for loss of use ($ 5000).
Second, insurance premiums paid by plaintiffs do not appear to be damages resulting from the vehicle's alleged defects. In Marchionna v. Ford Motor Company, 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13227, No. 94 C 275, 1995 WL 549124, at *2 (N.D.Ill. Sept. 8, 1995), this court found the assertion that insurance premiums should be included in the amount in controversy "highly dubious" because, "if Plaintiff had not leased the particular vehicle in question, he would not have gone without any vehicle at all but would have leased (or purchased) some other automobile [and therefore] would have had to pay auto insurance regardless . . . ." Although the Marchionna court nevertheless included insurance premiums in the amount in controversy, as Mitsubishi points out, the court did so only because the plaintiff apparently claimed $ 1200 in insurance premiums in his complaint. See id. In this case, plaintiffs do not mention insurance premiums either in their amended complaint or in their response to interrogatories. Therefore, the court finds insurance premiums should not be included in the amount in controversy. Even if the court included insurance premiums paid by plaintiffs, it would not raise the amount in controversy to the required $ 50,000. Although neither party has indicated how much plaintiffs have paid, the court is certain plaintiffs could not have possibly paid almost $ 8000 to insure a new vehicle that cost $ 21,596.60 for approximately two years.
Third, in its argument regarding the inclusion of attorneys' fees, Mitsubishi improperly relies on cases involving diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The parties in this case are not diverse. The presence of Warranty Act claims provides the only possible basis for jurisdiction. Jurisdiction based on a Warranty Act claim is federal question jurisdiction. See Haslam v. Lefta, Inc., 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3623, No. 93 C 4311, 1994 WL 117463, at *1-2 (N.D.Ill. March 25, 1994) (distinguishing the treatment of attorneys' fees in the context of diversity jurisdiction under § 1332 and federal question jurisdiction under the Warranty Act). Contrary to Mitsubishi's assertion, attorneys' fees are "costs within the meaning of the [Warranty Act] . . . and thus must be excluded from the amount in controversy determination." Suber v. Chrysler Corp., 104 F.3d 578, 588, n. 12 (3d Cir. 1997) (citing Boelens v. Redman Homes, Inc., 748 F.2d 1058, 1069 (5th Cir. 1984); Saval v. BL Ltd., 710 F.2d 1027, 1033 (4th Cir. 1983) and Mele v. BMW of North America, Inc., 1993 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16185, No. 93-2399, 1993 WL 469124, at *3 (D. N.J. Nov. 12, 1993)).
Thus, Mitsubishi has failed to show to a reasonable probability that plaintiffs' Warranty Act claims are worth $ 50,000 or more. The court, therefore, finds the amount in controversy is less than $ 50,000. Accordingly, the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiffs' claims, and the case is remanded to the Circuit Court of Cook County.
September 16, 1997
Robert W. Gettleman
United States District Judge
JUDGMENT IN A CIVIL CASE
. Decision by Court. This action came to trial or hearing before the Court. The issues have been tried or heard and a decision has been rendered.
IT IS ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that defendant has failed to show to a reasonable probability that plaintiffs' Warranty Act claims are worth $ 50,000 or more. The Court, therefore, finds the amount in controversy is less than $ 50,000. Accordingly, the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiffs' claims and the case is remanded to the Circuit Court of Cook County.