United States District Court, D. Maryland
Stephanie A. Gallagher United States Magistrate Judge
case has been referred to me for all proceedings by consent
of the parties. ECF 39. On July 20, 2018, Plaintiff Frank
John Barranco (“Plaintiff) filed an Amended Complaint
against Defendants Chesaco Motors, Inc. t/a Happy Travelers
RV (“Chesaco”), John Kent, Equipment Repair, Inc.
t/a John Kent Auto and Truck Service (“ERI”), and
Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company d/b/a M&T Bank
(“M&T Bank”), for claims arising out of
Plaintiff s purchase of a recreational vehicle
(“RV”). ECF 25. Defendants Kent and ERI
(collectively “the Kent Defendants”) have filed a
pre-discovery motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), supported by a
memorandum of law. ECF 33. Plaintiff filed an opposition to
the motion, and the Kent Defendants have replied. ECF 36, 37.
No hearing is necessary to resolve the motion. See
Local Rule 105(6). For the reasons that follow, I shall grant
the Kent Defendants' motion to dismiss.
31, 2017, Plaintiff purchased an RV from Chesaco, and was
told that an inspection certificate would be provided
shortly. ECF 25 ¶ 8. On or about June 2, 2017, Plaintiff
arrived at Chesaco to pick up his RV, and was told that the
inspection was not yet complete, and that he would have to
bring the RV back the following week. Id. ¶ 10.
Chesaco told Plaintiff not to drive the RV more than 1000
miles until the inspection was finished. Id.
Plaintiff took his family on a short trip in the RV, and
noted that the RV exhibited numerous problems. Id.
¶ 13. Plaintiff returned the RV to Chesaco for repairs.
Id. ¶ 14. Plaintiff then picked the RV up for a
second time, but again returned it to Chesaco for repairs
after noting a number of continuing issues. Id.
23, 2017, Kent, “as agent, servant, and/or employee of
ERI, ” performed a vehicle inspection on the RV, and
issued an inspection report indicating that the RV had
passed. Id. ¶¶ 16-17. Four days later,
Chesaco informed Plaintiff that the RV had been repaired and
had passed inspection. Id. Shortly after Plaintiff
picked the RV up, it “continued to exhibit dangerous
defects” and “stopped running.”
Id. ¶ 17. Plaintiff again returned the RV to
Chesaco on July 10, 2017, and the RV remained at Chesaco for
approximately six weeks. Id. ¶ 18.
August, 2017, Plaintiff's attorney provided formal
written notice to Chesaco of the continued “problems
and defects with the vehicle and breaches of state and
federal warranties.” Id. ¶ 19. The
attorney demanded that Chesaco fix the RV. Id.
August 31, 2017, Chesaco returned the RV to Plaintiff, and
assured him that it had been completely repaired.
Id. ¶ 20. At that time, however, Plaintiff
noticed significant new cosmetic issues in the interior of
the RV. Id. ¶ 21.
October 21, 2017, Plaintiff took the RV to Brooks Ramsey RV
to obtain a diagnostic inspection. Id. ¶ 22.
Brooks Ramsey RV opined that the RV was unsafe to drive, and
should be towed. Id. ¶ 22.
later date (not specified in the Amended Complaint), an
expert advised Plaintiff “that the vehicle should not
have passed inspection, ” “was not merchantable
and was dangerous and defective at the time of sale, and
remains unmerchantable, defective and dangerous.”
Id. ¶ 24. On January 4, 2018, Plaintiff first
sought rescission of the RV sale through M&T Bank, but
rescission was denied. Id. ¶ 27, 28. Plaintiff
filed his original Complaint in this Court on April 5, 2018.
ECF I. The Kent Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the
original Complaint, citing a series of pleading deficiencies,
ECF 17, and Plaintiff responded by filing the Amended
Complaint at issue in the instant motion, ECF 25.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) permits a defendant to test
the legal sufficiency of a complaint or count. In re
Birmingham, 846 F.3d 88, 92 (4th Cir. 2017); Goines
v. Valley Cmty. Servs. Bd., 822 F.3d 159, 165-66 (4th
Cir. 2016). In a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a defendant asserts
that, as a matter of law, the complaint fails “to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) sets forth the requirements
for pleading a claim, specifically that the complaint contain
a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” That Rule is
intended to ensure that defendants have “fair
notice” of the claims against them. Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007).
complaint complies with the relevant pleading standards where
it sets forth facts sufficient to “state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570; see Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 684 (2009) (“Our decision in
Twombly expounded the pleading standard for all
civil actions.”) (quotation and citation omitted);
see also Willner v. Dimon, 849 F.3d 93, 112 (4th
Cir. 2017). The facts alleged must be more than bald
accusations or mere speculation. Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555; see Painter's Mill Grille, LLC v. Brown,
716 F.3d 342, 350 (4th Cir. 2013). A complaint consisting of
“a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action” is also insufficient. Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555. Although a plaintiff need not include
“detailed factual allegations, ” the complaint
must contain “enough factual matter (taken as true) to
suggest” a viable claim, “even if ... [the]
actual proof of those facts is improbable and ... recovery is
very remote and unlikely.” Id. at 555, 556
(internal quotation marks omitted).
reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion “must accept as true
all of the factual allegations contained in the
complaint” and must “draw all reasonable
inferences [from those facts] in favor of the
plaintiff.” E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v.
Kolon Indus., Inc., 637 F.3d 435, 440 (4th Cir. 2011)
(quotations and citations omitted); see Semenova v.
Maryland Transit Admin., 845 F.3d 564, 567 (4th Cir.
2017); Houck v. Substitute Tr. Servs., Inc., 791
F.3d 473, 484 (4th Cir. 2015). However, the ...