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Iwoi, LLC v. Monaco Coach Corp.

August 20, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr.


Defendants' Barrington Motor Sales RV, Sean Bransky and Bryan Bransky move for summary judgment [251] on Counts III-VII of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint. For the following reasons, Defendants' motion [251] is granted as to Count III in its entirety and as to Counts VI and VII to the extent that they seek recovery on the basis of the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act ("MMWA"). Defendants' motion [251] is denied without prejudice in all other respects; as explained in detail below, given that there are no remaining viable federal claims against any Defendant, the Court adheres to the "usual practice" in this circuit of dismissing without prejudice all remaining state law claims.

I. Background*fn1

On April 29, 2006, Plaintiff IWOI, LLC -- a Montana limited liability company formed by Robert Woischke*fn2 -- ordered a new 2006 Beaver Monterey motor home*fn3 ("RV") from Defendant Barrington Motor Sales RV ("BMS") for $222,500.00.*fn4

The RV arrived at BMS from the factory in Oregon on May 8, 2006. From the time that it arrived, the RV had problems. When it arrived, BMS service personnel, including Bryan Bransky, visually inspected and test-drove the RV. On May 8, Woischke visited BMS to see the RV. At that time, Sean Bransky advised him that there were a couple a problems with it. Specifically, the Caterpillar engine was making a lot of noise, the oil pressure was reading low, and there was a lot of black exhaust smoke. Sean informed Woischke that BMS was taking the RV to a Caterpillar facility to have it evaluated. On May 16, Woischke went to Patten Power Systems Co., a Caterpillar facility, to meet with service technicians about the RV and receive a report on their findings and actions.

A few days later, Woischke went back to BMS to see the RV. Sean Bransky advised him that it was exhibiting "bump steer" issues and had been taken to Champion Frame Align, Inc. for service. Sean told Woischke that "bump steer" is when you hit a bump and the steering wheel jerks. Woischke then went to Champion and spoke with an employee who confirmed that the RV exhibited bump steer. Champion worked on the bump steer for a week, but could not determine its cause and was unable eliminate it.

BMS then contacted Monaco for assistance, and on May 25, 2006, Monaco sent a chassis specialist to Champion to investigate and resolve the bump steer issue. The Monaco specialist observed the bump steer issue and made several attempts at fixing it, including readjusting leveling pressures, leveling the vehicle, and realigning the front wheels. The parties disagree as to what Defendants actually told Woischke about the problems and if they could be fixed or whether any modifications took the RV out of the manufacture's specifications.

At this point, Sean told Woischke that the RV may have to go to Indiana, and that if Woischke was not happy and satisfied he did not have to accept it. The parties dispute whether this meant that Plaintiff could recover the $10,000 deposit that IWOI had put down for the RV. The next day, Woischke informed Sean that he "could not accept the present coach with modifications to 'treat' a symptom * * * and that [he] would walk away from the present coach -- it was not acceptable." Sean told Woischke that he would call Monaco and request an identical replacement vehicle. Later that day, the Monaco specialist told Woischke that the bump steer problem was not resolved and he did not know what was causing it. He did not tell him about any other problems with the RV.

Woischke again test drove the RV with Sean Bransky and experience the bump steer and heard bumping and clunking noises. In the next few weeks, between May 26 and June 14, Sean and Woischke discussed replacing the RV's shocks. The parties dispute whether BMS had authorization from Monaco to have Champion replace the shocks with KONI shocks and whether changing the shocks caused additional damage and new problems for the RV. After the shocks were replaced by Champion, Woischke again test drove the RV and heard the same noises. The parties dispute whether Defendants told Woischke that the noises he heard during the test drive were normal and whether Plaintiff continued to feel the bump steer.

On June 14, 2006, after the test drive, Monaco agreed to cover the cost of an extended engine warranty for the RV and Sean Bransky agreed to provide a letter indicating that modifying the RV by installing the KONI shocks would not alter the applicable warranty. The parties disagree over whether Woischke ever received this letter.

On June 21, Woischke, on behalf of IWOI, purchased the 2006 Beaver Monterey RV, VIW 1RFC9544261039973 from BMS. IWOI purchased the RV under an Illinois Standard Buyers Order, which was signed by Woischke. The provision states that:

DISCLAIMER OF IMPLIED WARRANTY: Unless prohibited by law * * * the vehicle is sold "AS IS" and (dealer) hereby expressly disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including any IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.


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