Posts tagged "Chrysler"

Ferreira v. Chrysler Group LLC, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-098-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030;     SJC‑11450   MATTHEW FERREIRA  vs.  CHRYSLER GROUP LLC & another.[1] Bristol.     February 6, 2014.  ‑  June 11, 2014. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.   Indemnity.  Motor Vehicle, Defect, Dealer, Franchise.  Statute, Construction.  Negligence, Defective product, Design, Manufacturer of motor vehicle, Retailer.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on December 4, 2009.   Cross claims were heard by Richard T. Moses, J., on motions for summary judgment.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     Sara A. Decatur Judge (Paul Marshall Harris with her) for Somerset Auto Group. Keith B. Rose (Mark W. Skanes with him) for Chrysler Group LLC.       GANTS, J.  The issue on appeal is one of statutory construction:  under what circumstances does a motor vehicle manufacturer owe a duty under G. L. c. 93B, § 8 (a), to defend a motor vehicle dealer against a claim “predicated upon the negligent design or manufacture of a new motor vehicle, or any part or component thereof?“  We conclude that a manufacturer owes such a statutory duty where a dealer promptly notifies it in writing that a claim has been asserted alleging damages arising from a defective motor vehicle or part caused solely by the fault or neglect of the manufacturer, and not by any fault or neglect of the dealer.  Because the plaintiff’s allegations here alleged the fault or neglect of both the manufacturer and the dealer, the manufacturer did not have a duty to defend under § 8 (a), in the circumstances of this case. Background.  The plaintiff, Matthew Ferreira, purchased a new Jeep Wrangler (Jeep) from the defendant Somerset Auto Group (Somerset) on April 7, 2007.  The vehicle was manufactured by the predecessor entity of the defendant Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler), and was subject to Chrysler’s limited warranty, which covered all costs for parts and labor necessary to repair any defects on the vehicle for a period of thirty-six months or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first. On September 25, 2009, Ferreira’s attorney sent a demand letter to Chrysler and Somerset alleging that the Jeep had been repaired at least six times and been out of service for forty-two days for unspecified “nonconformities that continue to exist.”   He alleged that Chrysler’s inability to repair the Jeep after six attempts despite […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 12, 2014 at 3:56 am

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