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BSP Secures Near-Total Dismissal of Nationwide Economic-Loss Class Action at Pleadings Stage

On behalf of Ford, BSP attorneys Stephanie Douglas, Derek Linkous, and Grant Newman secured the dismissal of 53 of 55 counts in a nationwide class action that claimed the water pumps on millions of putative class vehicles were defective, shutting down the vast majority of the action before discovery. As in other similar no-injury product-defect actions, a recent favorite of the plaintiffs’ bar, the plaintiffs alleged that a component of their vehicle (here, the water pump) required replacement outside of the warranty period, causing economic harm to those vehicles’ owners. The plaintiffs alleged no injury to themselves or others from the alleged defect. The Court agreed with the bulk of Ford’s argument that the 283-page complaint failed to state a viable claim, and rejected Plaintiffs’ heavy reliance on Ford’s maintenance schedules, which were “not to delineate every part that might need replacement before 150,000 miles.” Instead, Ford’s Powertrain warranty controlled: “after the lesser of 5 years and 60,000 miles, all bets were off on the water pump; it might last quite a while longer, it might not.” The Court also found Ford’s argument to dismiss the one remaining plaintiff’s implied warranty claim had merit, but that claim could survive for now, pending settlement or additional briefing. The opinion can be found here.

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