Court partially grants motion to dismiss case over allegedly defective sunroofs against Mercedes Benz

By Gabriel Neves | Feb 8, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO – A federal court has partially granted an auto maker's motion to dismiss a suit over allegedly defective shattering sunroofs.  

U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. on the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, issued a 12-page ruling on Jan. 31 granting in part and denying in part a Mercedes Benz USA LLC's motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed against it and other entities by Giorgio Enea.

The court granted the motion to dismiss the plaintiff's breach of express warranty claims with the exception of the warranty claim regarding the limited warranty. It also granted the motion to dismiss the plaintiff's Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and the unfair competition claim under the Unfair Competition Law.

Enea sued the defendants over allegations of breach of warranty, as well as for alleged violations of the California’s Unfair Competition Law and Consumers Legal Remedies Act.

As stated in the ruling, Enea "alleges that the sunroof in his own Mercedes Benz vehicle shattered while he was driving, and that he was prevented from working for several days as a result," and also alleged "that defendants would not repair the shattered sunroof unless plaintiff signed a release of liability, which plaintiff refused to do."

Enea also alleged "'multiple Mercedes Benz drivers have complained that their sunroofs exploded, shattered, and/or cracked without warning,'” and that “'defendants at all relevant times were aware of the defects, and have changed providers or vendors for their sunroof glass because of the problems and defects,'” the ruling states.

In his ruling, judge Gilliam granted the motion to dismiss the CLRA claim, stating that "because the court finds that plaintiff’s CLRA claim does not sufficiently allege knowledge, misrepresentation, or fraud by omission, it is not necessary to determine whether plaintiff has sufficiently pleaded reliance."

Gilliam also decided that any amended complaint must be filed within 21 days of the ruling, and a management conference is set for Tuesday, Feb. 19. 

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California case number 4:18-cv-02792-HSG

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