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American Power Chassis, Inc. v. Jones

United States District Court, D. Kansas

July 25, 2017

AMERICAN POWER CHASSIS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
GARY JONES, et al. Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          KATHRYN H. VRATIL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         American Power Chassis, Inc. (“American Power”) brings suit against Gary Jones for breach of contract, fraud and negligent misrepresentation. See Amended Complaint (Doc. #7) filed January 8, 2014.[1] This matter is before the Court on Defendant Gary Jones Motion To Dismiss (Doc. #87) filed December 21, 2015, defendant's Second Motion To Dismiss (Doc. #122) filed February 13, 2017 and Plaintiff's Response And Motion To Strike Defendant Gary Jones' Second Motion To Dismiss (Doc. #125) filed February 16, 2017. For reasons stated below, the Court overrules all three motions.

         Legal Standards

         In ruling on a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), Fed. R. Civ. P., the Court assumes as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and determines whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement of relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to state a claim which is plausible - and not merely conceivable - on its face. Id., 556 U.S. at 679-80; Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). In determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief, the Court draws on its judicial experience and common sense. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. The Court need not accept as true those allegations which state only legal conclusions. See id.; Hall, 935 F.3d at 1110.

         Plaintiff bears the burden of framing its claims with enough factual matter to suggest that it is entitled to relief; it is not enough to make threadbare recitals of a cause of action accompanied by conclusory statements. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556. Plaintiff makes a facially plausible claim by pleading factual content from which the Court can reasonably infer that defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Plaintiff must show more than a sheer possibility that defendant has acted unlawfully - it is not enough to plead facts that are “merely consistent with” defendant's liability. Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). A pleading which offers labels and conclusions, a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action or naked assertions devoid of further factual enhancement will not stand. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Similarly, where the well-pleaded facts do not permit the Court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the pleading has alleged - but has not “shown” - that the pleader is entitled to relief. See id. at 679. The degree of specificity necessary to establish plausibility and fair notice depends on context, because what constitutes fair notice under Rule 8(a)(2), Fed. R. Civ. P., depends on the type of case. Robbins v. Okla., 519 F.3d 1242, 1248 (10th Cir. 2008) (citing Phillips v. Cty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 232-33 (3d Cir. 2008)).

         Factual Allegations

         Plaintiff alleges the following facts.

         American Power is a Kansas corporation located in Russell, Kansas. First Amended Complaint (Doc. #7) filed January 8, 2014, ¶ 1.

         Jones is an individual who resides in the State of Washington. Id. ¶ 2.

         Jones & Sons Chassis, Inc. is a Washington corporation. Id. ¶ 3.

         On February 14 and 15, 2012, in his individual capacity and as an authorized agent of Jones & Sons Chassis, Inc., Jones traveled to Russell, Kansas and met with officers, directors and employees of American Power. Id. ¶ 9. During the meeting, American Power, Jones and Jones & Sons Chassis, Inc. entered into an agreement which they later reduced to writing in a document entitled “Project Timeline and Budget.” Id. ¶ 10. Under the agreement, Jones and Jones & Sons Chassis, Inc. agreed that by November 12, 2012, they would design a power chassis with all electrical systems, build a prototype and create all parts and system drawings with respect to the power chassis and electrical systems. Id. ¶ 12. The parties agreed to the completion date of November 12, 2012 to insure that the prototype chassis would be ready to show at the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Id. ¶ 13. Jones and Jones & Sons Chassis, Inc. knew that American Power planned to put the power chassis into production in 2013 and produce 1, 000 units in the first year. Id. ¶ 5.

         Based on the parties' agreement, between March 6, 2012 and February 19, 2013, American Power paid $389, 133.09 to Jones and Jones & Sons Chassis, Inc. Id. ¶ 15.

         From March 6, 2012 to April 22, 2013, Jones and Jones & Sons Chassis, Inc. repeatedly refused to meet and confer with American Power regarding the status and timeline of the project, causing American Power to miss critical deadlines in its production process. Id. ¶ 17.

         On November 12, 2012, Jones and Jones & Sons Chassis, Inc. were nearly three months ...


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