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Lindsey v. Ford Motor Co.

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

December 18, 2018

EDMOND L. LINDSEY APPELLANT
v.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY AND COUNTRY FORD APPELLEES

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/23/2017

          COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: DESOTO COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. CELESTE EMBREY WILSON

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: EDMOND L. LINDSEY (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES: D. STERLING KIDD WILLIAM ALBERT BROWN WILLIAM TYLER SCOTT

          BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND WILSON, JJ.

          BARNES, J.

         ¶1. Edmond Lindsey sued Ford Motor Company and Country Ford, alleging that he was sold a defective vehicle and was entitled to a full refund of the purchase price. Lindsey failed to provide support for his claim, and the circuit court granted summary judgment to the defendants. Finding summary judgment was appropriately granted, we affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶2. According to Lindsey's pro se complaint filed on August 13, 2012, in the DeSoto County Circuit Court, he went to Country Ford in Southaven, Mississippi, on April 4, 2012, to purchase a red 2012 Ford Focus hatchback. Country Ford did not have one in stock; so the salesperson offered to order one. The salesperson then offered to let Lindsey test drive a similar model, a white 2012 Ford Focus, that he found "in the shop." After the test drive, Lindsey's wife expressed interest in the white Ford Focus and asked, "[W]hat's wrong with this car?" Lindsey asserts that the salesperson did not respond to her question but offered them the vehicle for $1, 000 less than the red Focus, and Lindsey purchased it.

         ¶3. Lindsey alleged that he returned to Country Ford approximately two weeks later on April 19, 2012, and complained to a service technician that the vehicle was "jerking, coasting, stalling, rolling backwards after stopping and taking off again" and that "[a]pplication of the brakes periodically influence[d] the direction of the car."[1] According to Lindsey, the technician responded, "[T]here is nothing wrong with the car[;] they all do that." Lindsey claimed that a sales manager stated he was going to drive the car, but he declined to do so after speaking with the service technician. The sales manager, Terry Pierce, disputed this claim, stating through an affidavit that Lindsey refused to accompany him on the test drive and left the dealership. Lindsey stated that before leaving the dealership, he asked for his money back, but the sales manager refused. Lindsey alleged that he later discovered that the vehicle, which had been represented as new, had been previously titled in Mississippi. In his complaint, Lindsey alleged breach of warranty, and he sought a full refund of the vehicle's purchase price plus damages and court costs.[2]

         ¶4. Discovery proceeded, and various motions were filed intermittently during the next four years. At one point, in May 2016, the circuit clerk moved for dismissal of the case for failure to prosecute. On December 29, 2016, Ford Motor Company moved for summary judgment. After a hearing, its motion was granted. On April 27, 2017, Country Ford moved for summary judgment. The next day, Lindsey moved to amend his complaint to add additional claims against Country Ford. He also filed motions to compel additional discovery and for the recusal of the circuit court judge. All of Lindsey's motions were denied. After a hearing, the circuit court granted Country Ford's motion for summary judgment. Lindsey's motion for reconsideration of the orders granting summary judgment was denied. Lindsey appeals.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶5. Summary judgment is proper when, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." M.R.C.P. 56(c); Karpinsky v. Am. Nat'l Ins. Co., 109 So.3d 84, 88 (¶9) (Miss. 2013). To rebut a motion for summary judgment, the nonmovant may not "rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleadings . . . ." M.R.C.P. 56(e). Rather, the nonmovant must respond "by affidavit or as otherwise provided in [Rule 56]," and he "must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Karpinsky, 109 So.3d at 88 (¶10). We review the grant of summary judgment de novo. Id. at (¶9).

         ¶6. Rulings on motions for leave to amend a complaint and discovery-related motions are reviewed for abuse of discretion. Elliott v. AmeriGas Propane L.P., 249 So.3d 389, 398 (¶38) (Miss. 2018).

         DISCUSSION

         I.Express ...


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