United States District Court, D. Vermont
W. OWEN JENKINS, Plaintiff,
C3 RACING, INC. and MARC F. EVANS Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
DISMISS FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION (DOC.
Christina Reiss, United States District Court District Judge
W. Owen Jenkins brings this action against Defendant C3
Racing, Inc., d/b/a New England Classic Car Co., and its
owner, Marc F. Evans (collectively, "Defendants"),
alleging six claims arising from the purchase and sale of a
1967 MGB motor vehicle ("the MGB"): (1) breach of
express warranties, (2) breach of the covenant of good faith
and fair dealing, (3) negligent misrepresentation, (4)
fraudulent misrepresentation, (5) fraudulent concealment, and
(6) unfair and deceptive business practices under
Vermont's Consumer Protection Act ("CPA"), 9
V.S.A. § 2453. Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages of
$22, 750, punitive damages of no less than $10, 000,
exemplary damages of $56, 655 pursuant to the CPA,
attorney's fees and costs, and the payment of
before the court is Defendants' motion to dismiss for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction, asserting Plaintiffs
state law claims fail to exceed the $75, 000 threshold for
diversity of citizenship jurisdiction. (Doc. 5.) Plaintiff
an attorney, is representing himself. Defendants are
represented by Mary P. Kehoe, Esq.
The Complaint's Allegations.
alleges Defendant Evans is an individual residing in
Connecticut and Defendant C3 Racing, Inc., d/b/a as New
England Classic Car Co., is a Connecticut Corporation.
Plaintiff resides in Essex Junction, Vermont. As Defendants
concede, diversity of citizenship is established.
Complaint alleges Defendants are engaged in the business of
selling classic sports cars, vintage and historic racing
cars, and various other collectible vehicles. Defendants
advertise their inventory on the Internet and offer delivery
within the New England region.
2015, Defendants bought the MGB, a 1967 motor vehicle with a
removable hard top, from Daniel F. Kacher for $9, 000. Before
selling the MGB and in response to Defendants' inquiries,
Mr. Kacher allegedly disclosed to Defendants in writing that
the MGB had rust on the right door, undercarriage, and rims
and verbally disclosed rust on the firewall and transmission
purchasing the MGB from Mr. Kacher, Defendants immediately
offered the MGB for sale on the Internet for $17, 900 without
the hard top and without making any repairs or modifications.
Defendants' Internet advertisement for the MGB contained
the following representations: "... a very nice car .. .
3, 000 miles on [a] rebuilt engine ... new top, new chrome, a
wonderful example of the most collectible of MGB's ...
105 mph performance, great handling, sure braking,
comfortable ride . . . ." (Doc. 1 at 3, ¶ 12)
(internal quotation marks omitted).
response to the Internet advertisement, Plaintiff contacted
Defendants, asking for details about the MGB, including how
Defendants had located and acquired the MGB and information
regarding its overall condition because Plaintiff did not
want to purchase a "project car." Id. at
3, ¶ 13 (internal quotation marks omitted). Defendant
Evans replied that he found the MGB advertised on the
Internet, had it inspected by a person acting on
Defendants' behalf, and, finding the car in excellent
condition, decided to buy it from Mr. Kacher. In response to
Plaintiffs inquiries about specific issues with the MGB,
Defendants stated that it had only 55, 400 original miles, no
rust, and was in "show condition[.]" Id.
at 4, ¶ 15 (internal quotation marks omitted).
Defendants further represented in writing that:
All of the electrics and mechanicals [were] in good working
... I took my little magnet, started from the front (on each
side) behind the front bumper and moved the magnet along the
lower edge of the body, rockers, and fenders, to the rear
bumper. It stuck the entire way making this car (one) of
the best bodied early MGBs on the planet.
Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).
discussed scheduling an appointment to view the MGB at
Defendants' place of business, but Defendants
"assured Plaintiff that such [a] viewing was not
necessary because the condition of the [MGB] was excellent
and precisely as advertised." Id. at 4, ¶
17. After the parties agreed to additional minor upgrades
costing $600 and a delivery cost of $385, Plaintiff bought
the MGB "sight unseen" for $18, 885 without an
independent inspection from Defendants. (Doc. 1 at 4, ¶
20) (internal quotation marks omitted). Defendants promised
delivery of the MGB to Plaintiff in Vermont.
October 29, 2015, Defendants' employee delivered the MGB
to Plaintiff, gave Plaintiff an invoice for the car, and
drove the MGB to Plaintiffs residence in South Hero, ...