Lewis Brisbois Los Angeles Team Secures Dismissal of Proposed Class Action Against Honda
Los Angeles, Calif. (July 22, 2020) - Los Angeles Partners Eric Y. Kizirian and Michael Grimaldi, along with Associate Zourik Zarifian, recently secured the dismissal of a proposed class action brought against our client, Honda, in California federal court over an alleged defect in the air-conditioning systems of Honda Civics. U.S. District Court Judge Josephine L. Stanton of the Central District of California held that the class action had been filed prematurely and the plaintiffs’ claims were not ripe for adjudication.
The case was initially brought in May 2019, with the plaintiffs alleging that Honda Civics manufactured between 2015 and 2019 had defective air-conditioning condensers. In the interim, Honda announced a voluntary warranty extension for certain air-conditioning components in the putative class cars. The plaintiffs then filed an amended complaint, added new plaintiffs, and changed their liability theory to align with components covered by Honda’s warranty extension. The plaintiffs then claimed Honda's warranty extension wasn't sufficient, citing various hypotheticals.
We moved to dismiss, both on the grounds that the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the case and that the matter was not ripe for judicial review. The court agreed with Honda and held the plaintiffs hadn't shown "even remotely" that the alleged defect would continue to cause issues even after authorized repairs were undertaken. The court also agreed that the suit was not yet ripe for judicial review and dismissed the case without prejudice, but without giving the plaintiff's a chance to amend it.
"The court concludes that the facts require development, "not that plaintiffs possess additional facts they could have pleaded to render their claims ripe for adjudication but did not," Judge Stanton noted in her order. "On this record, therefore, the court concludes that granting leave to amend would be imprudent."
You can read the court's published opinion here.
"We are pleased with this outcome on behalf of our client, Honda," said Mr. Kizirian of the court's decision.
Further details of this case are available in the Law360 article, "Honda Buyers Sued Too Soon In AC Defect Case, Judge Says" (subscription required).