Carleton Kowalke v. Swiss America Trading Corp.
Per Curiam OPINION filed : the district court's decision to grant summary judgment in favor of Swiss-America is AFFIRMED, decision not for publication. Richard Allen Griffin and Raymond M. Kethledge, Circuit Judges; and The Honorable Lawrence P. Zatkoff, Senior U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, sitting by designation.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 13a0396n.06
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
CARLETON E. KOWALKE,
SWISS-AMERICA TRADING CORP.,
Apr 19, 2013
DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk
ON APPEAL FROM THE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT
COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN
DISTRICT OF OHIO
BEFORE: GRIFFIN and KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judges; ZATKOFF, District Judge.*
PER CURIAM. Carleton E. Kowalke appeals the district court’s decision to grant summary
judgment in favor of Swiss-America Trading Corp. (Swiss-America) in this action claiming fraud.
In his complaint filed in state court, Kowalke alleged that Swiss-America fraudulently
induced him to buy gold and silver coins “at grossly marked up prices after specifically representing
that its only profit was a small fixed mark up,” that the “mark up on each coin was in fact
significantly higher,” and that the coins “were not nearly as valuable as was represented.” SwissAmerica removed the case to the district court based on diversity of citizenship and later filed a
motion for summary judgment, which the district court granted. This timely appeal followed.
The Honorable Lawrence P. Zatkoff, Senior United States District Judge for the Eastern
District of Michigan, sitting by designation.
Kowalke v. Swiss-Am. Trading Corp.
We review the district court’s decision to grant summary judgment de novo. Hirsch v. CSX
Transp., Inc., 656 F.3d 359, 362 (6th Cir. 2011). Summary judgment is appropriate “if the movant
shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). Once the movant has met that initial burden, “the party
opposing the motion then may not rely on the hope that the trier of fact will disbelieve the movant’s
denial of a disputed fact but must make an affirmative showing with proper evidence in order to
defeat the motion.” Alexander v. CareSource, 576 F.3d 551, 558 (6th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation
Under Ohio law,1 a fraud claim has the following elements: “(1) a representation . . . (2) that
is material to the transaction at hand, (3) made falsely, with knowledge of its falsity or with such
utter disregard and recklessness as to whether it is true or false that knowledge may be inferred, and
(4) with intent to mislead another into relying upon it, (5) justifiable reliance, and (6) resulting injury
proximately caused by the reliance.” Volbers-Klarich v. Middletown Mgmt., Inc., 929 N.E.2d 434,
440 (Ohio 2010). The district court concluded that Kowalke failed to produce evidence with respect
to the sixth element—that he suffered a loss or that any loss was proximately caused by SwissAmerica’s purported false representation that the coins were sold at a 10% mark up. In his affidavit,
As the district court noted, the “Numismatic Rare Coin Purchase Terms and Conditions”
included forum selection and choice of law provisions designating Arizona state courts and Arizona
law, but Kowalke argued that he never assented to those terms and conditions. Accordingly, the
district court adjudicated the case as though the terms and conditions were not in effect and applied
Ohio law. Because the parties do not challenge the district court’s application of Ohio law, we apply
it here. See Kovacic v. Cuyahoga Cnty. Dep’t of Children & Family Servs., 606 F.3d 301, 307 (6th
Kowalke v. Swiss-Am. Trading Corp.
Kowalke claimed that Swiss-America “caused nearly $100,000.00 in loss,” but failed to give an
explanation for this figure or provide any evidence that the claimed loss was a result of the alleged
false representation that Swiss-America was selling the coins at only 10% over its cost. See Giffin
v. Crestview Cadillac, No. 09AP-278, 2009 WL 4809862, at *12 (Ohio Ct. App. Dec. 15, 2009)
(affirming summary judgment on negligent misrepresentation claim where there was no evidence
that the plaintiff incurred any monetary damages as a result of the defendant’s alleged
misrepresentation about its profit). Indeed, Kowalke produced no evidence of what Swiss-America
paid for the coins, or of their current market value.
We agree with the district court that Kowalke failed to demonstrate that he suffered a loss
or that any loss was proximately caused by Swiss-America’s alleged false representation.
Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of SwissAmerica.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?