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Michael Pleskovich, Michael Gilmore, et al v. Ford Motor Company

May 24, 2012

MICHAEL PLESKOVICH, MICHAEL GILMORE, ET AL. , PLAINTIFFS,
v.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge

ELECTRONICALLY FILED

MEMORANDUM ORDER RE: DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS TO DISMISS PURSUANT TO FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 12(B)(6) (DOC. NO. 5) AND PLAINTIFFS' MOTIONS TO STRIKE (DOC. NO. 8)

I.Introduction

Presently before the Court are: (1) Defendant, Ford Motor Company's ("Ford's") Motions to Dismiss Counts II, III, and V of Plaintiffs, Barbara and Michael Pleskovich and Michael Gilmore's Complaints for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6); and (2) Plaintiffs' Motions to Strike Defendant's Motions to Dismiss.*fn1 After careful consideration of the Motions, briefs in support thereof, and responses thereto, Plaintiffs' Motions to Strike (Doc. Nos. 8) will be DENIED and Defendant's Motions to Dismiss (Doc. Nos. 5) will be GRANTED.

II.Statement Of The Facts

Under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, at this stage, the Court accepts all of the factual allegations in the Complaint as true and all reasonable inferences are drawn in Plaintiffs' Favor. See Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009). Taking the Plaintiffs' factual allegations as true soley for the purposes of this Memorandum Order, the facts of this case are as follows:

On or about May 16, 2010, in Washington County, Pennsylvania, Michael Craig Pleskovich (Plaintiffs' decedent in 12-cv-00548) was driving his 2000 Ford Ranger pick-up truck, which was manufactured and distributed by Defendant. Doc. No. 1-3, ¶¶ 3-4. Jenna Gilmore (Plaintiff's decedent in 12-cv-00547) was a passenger in the vehicle. Id. at ¶ 5. Decedent Pleskovich's truck collided with another vehicle and caused him and his passenger, decedent Gilmore, to be ejected. Id. at ¶ 6-11. Both of the Plaintiffs' decedents sustained fatal injuries. Id. at ¶ 12.

Plaintiffs allege the following causes of action against Defendant, in both 12-cv-00547 and 12-cv-00548) as a result of the accident: (1) strict liability; (2) breach of warranty of merchantability; (3) breach of warranty of fitness for a particular purpose; (4) negligence; and (5) breach of express warranty. Doc. No. 1-3, 9-24.

III. Motion to Dismiss Standard Of Review

In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, federal courts require notice pleading, as opposed to the heightened standard of fact pleading. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only "'a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,' in order to 'give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds on which it rests.'" Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).

Building upon the landmark United States Supreme Court decisions in Twombly, 550 U.S. 554 and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit explained that a District Court must take three steps to determine the sufficiency of a complaint:

First, the court must "tak[e] note of the elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim." Second, the court should identify allegations that, "because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Third, "whe[n] there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement for relief." This means that our inquiry is normally broken into three parts: (1) identifying the elements of the claim, (2) reviewing the Complaint to strike conclusory allegations, and then (3) looking at the well-pleaded components of the Complaint and evaluating whether all of the elements identified in part one of the inquiry are sufficiently alleged.

Malleus v. George, 641 F.3d 560, 563 (3d Cir. 2011) (quoting Iqbal,556 U.S. at 662).

The third step of the sequential evaluation requires this Court to consider the specific nature of the claims presented and to determine whether the facts pled to substantiate the claims are sufficient to show a "plausible claim for relief." "While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a Complaint, they must be supported by factual ...


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