Laurens v. Volvo Cars of North America, LLC et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER Signed by the Honorable Harry D. Leinenweber on 10/13/2016:Civil case terminated.Mailed notice(wp, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHER DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
XAVIER LAURENS and KHADIJA
LAURENS, Individually and on
Behalf of All Others
Case No. 16 C 4507
Judge Harry D. Leinenweber
VOLVO CARS OF NORTH
AMERICA, LLC, a Delaware
Corporation and VOLVO CAR
USA, LLC, a Delaware Limited
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
importer and distributor of Volvo vehicles in the United States.
training support for Volvo cars sold in the United States.
placed an order for a 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 (the “T8”) with the
Howard Orloff Volvo dealership in Chicago, Illinois.
The T8 was
a twin engine plug-in hybrid sport utility vehicle which was
capable of running solely on electricity.
deposit at that time.
He paid a $1,000
Plaintiffs took delivery on January 10,
2016, at which time they paid the balance due on the $83,475
Laurens (“Khadija”), Xavier’s wife.
According to advertisements and press releases issued by
Defendants, which Plaintiffs had read, the Volvo was said to be
electric charge, which translates to range of approximately 25
after the Plaintiffs took possession of the T8 and began to
drive it, they discovered that they were only able drive the car
for 8 to 10 miles on a full electric charge.
Xavier took the T8
back to Howard Orloff who pointed out that the window sticker on
the car promised 13 miles on a full charge and not 25 miles.
Howard Orloff tested the car and was able to obtain 14 to 18
miles on a full charge, but only by driving no more than 40 mph
and without heat and safety features.
Plaintiffs contend that
they would not have paid a premium of $20,000 (the difference
between the cost of the T8 and the cost of the fully gas powered
model) had they known of the short electric driving distance.
difference to them.
Instead on June 8, 2016, prior to Khadija
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being added as an additional plaintiff by the Amended Complaint
(Xavier had originally filed suit against Defendants only in his
name as plaintiff), VCUSA made what it described as “a voluntary
refund of the purchase price upon the return of the T8.
offer was unconditional and did not require the dismissal of the
case against it, nor to sign a release, or perform any act other
than to return the vehicle (which VCUSA offered to do).
Plaintiffs rejected this offer.
Count I, Violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act; Count II,
Common Law Fraud; Count III, Breach of Express Warranty; and
Count IV, Unjust Enrichment (as an alternative to Count III).
They also seek to represent a national class of buyers of the T8
on Counts II, III, and IV, and a “multi-state class” on Count I.
Rule 12(b)(1) for lack of jurisdiction due to lack of standing
failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
Because the Court finds that neither Plaintiff has standing
to bring this suit, the Court does not get to the question posed
Motion is Defendants’ contention that the unconditional pre-suit
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offer of a complete refund of the purchase price moots the case
and therefore prevents the Court from exercising jurisdiction
because there is no harm or injury to be redressed.
between the injury and the conduct complained of, and (3) a
Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560
The Defendants correctly rely on Holstein v. City of
Chicago, 29 F.3d 1145, 1147 (7th Cir. 1994) in support of their
Rule 12(b)(1) motion.
In Holstein, a co-plaintiff, Grove, had
his legally parked car towed while attending a Chicago White Sox
Grove joined the suit as a co-plaintiff and as a
prior to a determination of the issues of class representation,
the City acknowledged that plaintiff was correct in his position
and took steps to refund his money.
The trial court granted the
Circuit affirmed stating that “Grove may not spurn this offer of
all the damages he is owed and proceed to trial.”
Alliance to End Repression v. City of Chicago, 820 F.2d 873, 878
(7th Cir. 1987) and Rand v. Monsanto Co., 926 F.2d 596, 598 (7th
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plaintiff’s entire demand, there is no dispute over which to
litigate, and a plaintiff who refuses to acknowledge this loses
FED. R. CIV. P.
amounts to a rescission which they specifically do not request
in their Amended Complaint.
Instead they ask for the difference
between the cost of the T8 and the non-hybrid Volvo, which is
However, the acceptance of a full refund would allow
In fact, as Defendants further point out, in the
For some reason, after it was pointed out in a
previous motion that the actual purchaser of the T8 was Khadija
Khadija as additional plaintiff and deleting the request for
However, just because VCUSA offered what Plaintiffs
were requesting in a slightly different form, does not eliminate
the mootness of their claim.
The rule of mootness is different after a class has been
Refusal of an offer of complete relief does not
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moot the case.
This prevents a defendant, during the course of
the proceedings, buying off a representative who is actively
Roper, 445 U.S. 326 (1980).
Here no such concerns are present.
unconditional offer was made to her.
Xavier, the sole Plaintiff
at the time, had not been certified as a class representative,
nor had any such motion even been filed.
even hold title to the T8.
In fact, he did not
As stated in the Alliance to End
Repression, “[D]efendants, like the courts, have an interest in
peace; once there is no more dispute, there is no case.
the parties and the court may save the costs of litigation.”
Alliance, 820 F.3d 878.
false, misleading information regarding the T8.
Plaintiffs are certainly not in danger of once again being duped
There is no need for an injunction to protect them.
Clothiers, Inc., 761 F.3d 732 (7th Cir. 2014), where a request
for an injunction is based solely on conjecture that because a
defendant harmed a person in the past that it is likely to harm
that person in the future, injunctive relief is not appropriate.
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However, under Illinois law punitive damages can only be awarded
Heinold Commodities, Inc., 497 N.E. 2d 424, 428 (1st Dist. 2nd
Here because Plaintiffs have received all of the
entitlement to any actual damages from the Court.
The Plaintiff, Xavier, seems to make an argument that he is
real party in interest as he apparently paid all of the cost of
argument that he has an equitable interest in the T8 would not
refund offer made to his wife who was the title holder, and he
could have alerted the Defendants of his interest in the T8.
Since the Plaintiffs’ claims are moot, the Court grants the
Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Harry D. Leinenweber, Judge
United States District Court
Dated: October 13, 2016
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