Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Coran v. Gino Development, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

November 8, 2019

MICHAEL W. CORAN, Plaintiff,
v.
GINO DEVELOPMENT, INC., a California corporation, and MENARD INC., a Wisconsin corporation, Individually and d/b/a MENARDS, and HANGZHOU UNI-HOSEN ELECTROMECHANICAL TOOLS CO., LTD., Defendants.

          ORDER AND OPINION

          James E. Shadid United States District Judge

         Now before the Court is Defendant Gino and Defendant Menard's Joint Motion (Doc. 27) to Dismiss. Plaintiff has filed a Response (Doc. 28) and this matter is ripe for disposition. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Joint Motion (Doc. 27) is DENIED as to Plaintiff's strict liability claims and negligence claims and GRANTED as to Plaintiff's warranty claims. Plaintiff may file an amended complaint curing the deficiencies identified in his warranty claim against Menards within 14 days of this Order.

         Background[1]

         Plaintiff initially filed this action against Defendants Gino Development, Inc. (“Gino”) and Menard, Inc. (“Menards”) on February 13, 2019 in the Circuit Court of McLean County, Illinois. Doc. 1-1; see also Coran v. Gino Development, Inc., No. 2019-L-18 (McLean Cnty. Cir. Ct. Feb. 3, 2019). On April 3, 2019, Defendants removed the action to the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois under 28 U.S.C. § 1441 based on the diverse citizenship of the parties. Doc. 1; 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The original complaint asserted six causes of action against Defendants. Count 1 alleged negligence against Gino; Count 2 alleged strict liability against Gino; Count 3 alleged a breach of implied UCC warranty against Gino; Count 4 alleged negligence against Menards; Count 5 alleged strict liability against Menards; and Count 6 alleged a breach of implied UCC warranty against Menards. See generally Doc. 1-1. Following removal to this District Court, the named Defendants entered their appearances, certified the manufacturer of the allegedly defective product, and moved to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint. See Doc. 12 (affidavit certifying manufacturer); Docs. 13, 14 (Motions to Dismiss).

         In ruling on the Motions to Dismiss, the Court denied dismissal of the strict liability claims against Menards and Gino under the Illinois Distributor Statute because the manufacturer, Hangzhou, had not yet been served. Doc. 21, at 9. The Court also denied dismissal of the strict liability claims under Rule 12(b)(6) after finding that Plaintiff sufficiently alleged each element of strict liability claim. Id. at 15-16. With respect to the negligence claims against Gino and Menards, the Court held Plaintiff failed to allege an essential element of a negligence claim- that Gino or Menards knew or should have known of any alleged unsafe condition relating to the hole saw. Thus, the Court granted Defendants' Motion with respect to the negligence claims, but granted Plaintiff leave to replead the negligence claims if he had a good faith basis for doing so. Id. at 12-13. Finally, the Court granted Defendants' Motion to Dismiss with respect to the warranty claims because Plaintiff alleged in only a conclusory fashion that Defendants sold goods that were not merchantable at the time of sale and failed to allege he gave notice to Defendants. Id. at 17-18. Plaintiff was also granted leave to amend with respect to his warranty claims.

         Plaintiff filed his Second Amended Complaint on August 19, 2019. Defendant Hangzhou remains unserved, and the time for service has yet to expire. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(a)(1)(A)(ii). Defendants Gino and Menards have filed a Joint Motion (Doc. 27) to Dismiss, and Plaintiff has filed a Response (Doc. 28). This Order follows.

         Legal Standard

         A motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) challenges whether a complaint sufficiently states a claim upon which relief may be granted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). The Court accepts well-pleaded allegations in a complaint as true and draws all permissible inferences in favor of the plaintiff. See Bible v. United Student Aid Funds, Inc., 799 F.3d 633, 639 (7th Cir. 2015). To survive a motion to dismiss, the complaint must describe the claim in sufficient detail to put defendants on notice as to the nature of the claim and its bases, and it must plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to relief. Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). A complaint need not allege specific facts, but it may not rest entirely on conclusory statements or empty recitations of the elements of the cause of action. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

         Discussion

         1. Motion to Dismiss by Defendants Gino and Menards

         Defendants Gino and Menards raise three issues in the instant Motion to Dismiss. Doc. 27. The Court will first address Defendants' argument that Plaintiff's strict liability claims should be dismissed because Defendants have complied with the requirements of the Illinois Distributor's statute, 735 ILCS 5/2-621; Id. at 2.

         a. The Illinois Distributor Statute

         Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint includes claims of strict liability against Hangzhou, the manufacturer of the hole saw, Gino, the distributor, and Menards, the retailer. In Illinois, 735 ILCS 5/2-621 governs the liability of non-manufactures in strict liability actions. In the Court's prior Order, it stated:

Gino and Menards are entitled to dismissal of the strict liability claims against them once Hangzhou “ha[s] or [is] required to have answered or otherwise pleaded.” Id. And under Rule 12(a)(1)(A) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Hangzhou's duty to answer or otherwise plead to Plaintiff's Amended Complaint is triggered by Plaintiff serving Hangzhou or by Hangzhou waiving service. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(a)(1)(A)(i) (defendant required to answer within 21 days after being served with summons and complaint) and (ii) (foreign defendant required to answer within 90 days after request for waiver of service sent). Thus, until Hangzhou has been served or waives service, dismissal of the strict liability claims against Gino and Menards ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.