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Cusano v. General RV Center

United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division

February 12, 2019

MICHAEL CUSANO, an individual, Plaintiff,
v.
GENERAL RV CENTER, a Utah corporation; FLEETWOOD RV, INC., a Delaware corporation; and FREIGHTLINER CUSTOM CHASSIS RV, a Delaware corporation, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          Dee Benson United States District Judge

         This matter is before the court on Defendant General RV Center's Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative, to Transfer venue pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) and 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). (Dkt. No. 17.) The motion has been fully briefed by the parties, and the court has considered the facts and arguments set forth in those filings. Pursuant to civil rule 7-1 of the United States District Court for the District of Utah Rules of Practice, the court elects to determine the motion on the basis of the written memoranda and finds that oral argument would not be helpful or necessary. DUCivR 7-1(f).

         RELEVANT BACKGROUND

         This case arises out of the sale of a 2015 Expedition 38K Recreational Vehicle (RV). According to the Complaint, the subject RV was manufactured by Defendant Fleetwood RV and Freightliner Custom Chassis RV. Defendant Fleetwood then sold the RV to Defendant General RV, an independent dealership. On July 21, 2015, General RV, a company headquartered in Michigan, with multiple locations in Michigan and other states, sold the RV to Plaintiff Cusano, from its location in Salt Lake City, Utah. General RV sold the RV to Plaintiff subject to the terms and conditions of a Purchase Agreement.[1]

         The Purchase Agreement between General RV and Plaintiff states that any claims arising out of the RV, its sales, or its service, must be filed in Michigan. Specifically, on the front side of the Purchase Agreement, in all capital letters, directly above Plaintiff's signature, the contract states:

BY SIGNING BELOW, PURCHASER ACKNOWLEDGES THAT PURCHASER HAS RECEIVED A COPY OF THIS AGREEMENT AND THAT PURCHASER HAS READ AND UNDERSTANDS THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, INCLUDING THOSE PRINTED ON THE REVERSE SIDE, WHICH INCLUDE AN ARBITRATION AGREEMENT, AN “AS IS” CLAUSE, AND A CHOICE OF LAW PROVISION INDICATING THAT MICHIGAN LAW WILL APPLY TO ANY POTENTIAL DISPUTES AND THAT ALL CLAIMS MUST BE FILED IN MICHIGAN.

(Dkt. 17, Exhibit 1, Purchase Agreement.)

         Paragraph 2, located on the reverse side of the Purchase Agreement, provides in part:

Should any dispute arise out of, or relate to, this Agreement, the RV sold pursuant to this Agreement, and/or service work on the RV, those disputes shall be governed by the substantive laws of the State of Michigan, without regard to conflict of law rules. This means that if Purchaser files a claim against Dealer regarding anything with RV, Michigan law will control that claim. In addition, Purchaser agrees that the exclusive jurisdiction for deciding any dispute shall be in Oakland County, Michigan, and Purchaser will file any claim in Oakland County, Michigan. (Emphasis in original.)

         Paragraph 16, also located on the reverse side of the Purchase Agreement, states:

Although Purchaser understands that if Purchaser files a claim against Dealer it must be filed in Oakland County, Michigan, Purchaser also understands that Dealer may be open to pre-litigation Mediation and/or other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution. If Purchaser is, Purchaser should contact Dealer to discuss this before filing a lawsuit in Oakland County, Michigan.
Plaintiff also signed a document entitled, “General RV Center, Truth in Lending Act” acknowledging:
I did not have any questions regarding the sales agreement and signed the agreement willingly.
I received a completed copy of the sales agreement to keep in my possession, which I willingly signed after its terms and ...

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