Volvo has requested the U.S. District Court of New Jersey to issue a writ of mandamus which requires the court to make a ruling on the merits of the company’s eight motions for summary judgment, and why they chose to deny each one.
A writ of mandamus is “an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly fulfill their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion,” according to the Cornell University Law School’s Wex legal dictionary.
The original lawsuit was filed in August 2010 in the New Jersey U.S. District Court by Massachusetts resident Joanne Neale, as well as seven other owners who asked for class action status. The owners alleged their various models have a defect that affects the drainage system of the sunroof causing it to become clogged with debris. Models include S40, S60, S80, V50 2004 to 2014 models, XC90 2003 to 2014 models, and V50 2005 to 2014 models.
Volvo has motioned for summary judgment eight separate times, but each attempt has been denied.
“The district court in this case effectively refused to consider or rule on the merits of any of the dozens of arguments made by Volvo in its eight timely-filed summary judgment motions. Controlling precedent from this Court holds that mandamus is a proper remedy to compel a district court to rule on the merits of a timely-filed and otherwise appropriate motion for summary judgment,” Volvo’s attorney said.
Volvo used the example of the court’s ruling on Kelly McGary, Florida resident who filed the suit alongside Neale.
“The district court did a choice of law analysis, and it concluded that Florida law would apply to McGary’s claims. (A9-15.) And yet, it entered an opinion and an order purporting to deny Volvo’s motion for summary judgment on the merits, including its motion for summary judgment on the implied warranty count based on privity. (A1 , A22.) Arguably, therefore, it is now the law of this case that Florida residents can pursue implied warranty claims notwithstanding the absence of privity. This is so even though Plaintiffs agree that this is not the law of Florida, and even though it is abundantly clear that the district court never actually considered or ruled on this issue,” Volvo’s attorney said.
“A writ of mandamus should be issued directing the district court to decide the merits of Volvo’s motions for summary judgment and to state on the record its reasons for granting or denying those motions,” Volvo’s attorney concluded.