United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. Jackson, United States District Judge.
the Court is Defendant Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC's
Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 12) Plaintiff Gail
Chisum's claims for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
For the reasons that follow, the
Motion (Doc. 12) is DENIED.
breach-of-warranty case arises from Gail Chisum's
purchase of a motorhome that he contends is defective. (Docs.
sued Mercedes-Benz, alleging claims under the Louisiana Civil
Code's redhibition articles and the Magnuson-Moss
Warranty Act. (Doc. 1). In his original complaint, he alleges
that he bought a $102, 000 Mercedes-Benz motorhome and that
the motorhome is defective. (Id.). He alleges that
the Court has subject-matter jurisdiction under the
Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. (Id. at ¶ 3).
moves to dismiss Chisum's suit for lack of subject-matter
jurisdiction. (Doc. 12). It argues that the Magnuson-Moss
Warranty Act's amount in controversy requirement is not
met because the only item on the motorhome that it warranted
is a chassis with an MSRP of $39, 055. (Doc. 12-1 at p. 2).
It reasons that, because its breach-of-warranty liability
cannot exceed the value of the item it warranted, it is
"legally certain" that Chisum cannot satisfy the
amount in controversy requirement. (Id. at p. 4).
Chisum disagrees. (Doc. 17).
argues that his good-faith demand of more than $100, 000
controls. (Id. at p. 4). He offers summary
judgment-type evidence, including an affidavit, to support
his assertion that at least $50, 000 is in controversy. (Doc.
17-1). And he correctly notes that the amount in controversy
under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is "computed on the
basis of all claims to be determined in [the]
suit," not just his claims against Mercedes-Benz. See 15
U.S.C. § 2310(d)(3)(B) (emphasis added).
clarify the amount in controversy, Chisum amended his
complaint to name two more defendants: Winnebago Industries
and Miller's RV Center. (Doc. 22). In his amended
complaint, he alleges that he bought a $102, 000 Winnebago
motorhome from Miller's RV Center and that the motorhome
is defective. (Id. at ¶ 13). He seeks to
rescind the sale and recover the purchase price.
(Id. at ¶ 29). He again alleges that the Court
has subject-matter jurisdiction under the Magnuson-Moss
Warranty Act. (Id. at ¶ 5).
Courtis a court of limited jurisdiction. See Kokkonen v.
Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S.
375, 377 (1994). Because Chisum invokes the Court's
jurisdiction, he bears the burden of proving it. See
United States ex rel. Jamison v. McKesson Corp., 649
F.3d 322, 327 (5th Cir. 2017).
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act grants federal courts jurisdiction
over claims for breach of warranty when the amount in
controversy is at least $50, 000. See 15 U.S.C. §
2310(d)(3)(B). To determine the amount in controversy under
the Act, the Court looks to the measure of damages under
state law. See Scarlott v. Nissan North Am., Inc.,
771 F.3d 883, 887 (5th Cir. 2014). Louisiana law supplies
Damages for ...