United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING MOTIONS TO
Guirola, Jr. U.S. District Judge.
THE COURT is the  Plaintiffs' Amended Motion to
Remand. Defendant Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, filed a response,
but the plaintiffs did not reply. After due consideration of
the submissions, the record in this case, and the relevant
law, it is the Court's opinion that it has jurisdiction
of this case. Accordingly, the Amended Motion to Remand will
be denied. The original  Motion to Remand is moot.
filed this lawsuit in the Circuit Court of the Second
Judicial District of Harrison County, Mississippi, alleging
that they leased a defective 2017 Mercedes Benz GLS450,
manufactured by Defendant Mercedes-Benz USA. Plaintiffs
allege that after they took possession of the GLS450 they
experienced defects with the engine and electrical system. As
a result of these defects, the GLS450 would not start, and
the check engine light would illuminate. Plaintiffs allege
that Mercedes failed to repair the GLS450 after multiple
attempts, thus causing Mercedes' warranties to fail.
Plaintiffs further allege that they have been and will
continue to be financially damaged due to Mercedes'
failure to comply with the warranties.
assert the following claims against Mercedes: breach of
written warranty pursuant to the Federal Magnuson- Moss
Warranty Act, breach of implied warranty pursuant to that
Act, and a state law claim for violation of the Mississippi
Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act. Mercedes removed the case
to this Court, asserting that this Court has federal question
jurisdiction and diversity jurisdiction over Plaintiffs'
claims. Plaintiffs filed a motion to remand arguing that the
amount in controversy requirement is not satisfied for
diversity jurisdiction or federal question jurisdiction. The
Court reviewed the briefs and determined that there was
insufficient information to make a decision regarding the
amount in controversy. (See Order For Remand-Related
Discovery 5, 6, ECF No. 11). The parties were instructed to
conduct limited discovery to answer the amount in controversy
question. (Id. at 6, 7). After completing the
limited discovery, the plaintiffs filed this Amended Motion
argue in their Amended Motion to Remand that their
interrogatory responses establish that the value of their
Magnusson-Moss claims are below the $50, 000 jurisdictional
threshold for those claims. In its response, Mercedes does
not contest the plaintiffs' valuation of the
Magnusson-Moss claims, and the Court agrees that diversity
jurisdiction cannot be premised on the Magnusson-Moss claims
because the amount in controversy requirement is not met.
See 15 U.S.C. § 2310(d)(3)(B).
argues, however, that the plaintiffs' state law claim
exceeds the $75, 000 diversity jurisdiction threshold in 28
U.S.C. § 1332, particularly when attorneys' fees are
included. Accordingly, Mercedes contends that its removal of
this case was proper, as the Court has jurisdiction of the
state law claim and may exercise supplemental jurisdiction
over the Magnusson-Moss claims.
state law claim is under the Mississippi Motor Vehicle
Warranty Act, Miss. Code Ann. § 63-17-151, et
seq. The purpose of the Act is “to provide the
statutory procedures whereby a consumer may receive a
replacement motor vehicle, or a full refund, for a motor
vehicle which cannot be brought into conformity with the
express warranty issued by the manufacturer.” Miss.
Code Ann. § 63-17-153.
Specifically, the manufacturer shall give the consumer the
option of having the manufacturer either replace the motor
vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle acceptable to the
consumer, or take title of the vehicle from the consumer and
refund to the consumer the full purchase price, including all
reasonably incurred collateral charges, less a reasonable
allowance for the consumer's use of the vehicle.
Code. Ann. § 63-17-159(1). Additionally, the Act allows
for recovery of costs and attorneys' fees.
If a consumer finally prevails in any action brought under
Sections 63-17-151 et seq., the court may allow him to
recover as part of the judgment a sum equal to the aggregate
amount of costs and expenses, including attorney's fees
based on actual time expended, determined by the court to
have been reasonably incurred by the plaintiff for or in
connection with the commencement and prosecution of such
Code. Ann. § 63-17-159(7).
the plaintiffs' pleadings are not very clear, it appears
that they seek 1) refund of the amount they have paid for the
vehicle ($53, 431); or 2) a replacement vehicle with a value
of $57, 000. (Compl. 8, ECF No. 16-1; Am. Mot. Remand 9, ECF
No. 16). In addition, they seek “all incidental and
consequential damages incurred” and “all
reasonable attorneys' fees, witness fees, court costs and
other fees incurred.” (Compl. 8, ECF No. 16-1).
Plaintiffs set out a total amount of $15, 000 in various
categories of incidental and consequential damages. (Def.
Resp. Ex. A 1-2, ECF No. 17-1). Mercedes must therefore show
that it is likely that there will be more than $6569 in
attorneys fees incurred to meet the jurisdictional
minimum. In order to meet its burden, Mercedes
points to 1) the plaintiffs' answer to an interrogatory
stating that they would seek “[a]ll statutory damages
pursuant to the Mississippi Motor Vehicle Warranty Act claim
(‘Lemon Law[ ]'), ” and 2) the
plaintiffs' refusal to agree that they will not accept
more than $75, 000 in damages, including attorney's fees.
(Def. Resp. Ex. A 2, ECF No. 17-1; Ex. B, ECF No. 17-2). As
the Court stated in its earlier order, a plaintiff's
refusal to admit or stipulate that they will not ...