Law School Case Brief
Moore v. Coachmen Indus. - 129 N.C. App. 389, 499 S.E.2d 772 (1998)
Summary judgment is properly granted if considering the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, there is no genuine issue of material fact and a party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. N.C. R. Civ. P. 56. The moving party bears the burden of showing the lack of triable issue of fact. The moving party may meet its burden by showing that the nonmoving party's action is barred by an affirmative defense, such as the expiration of the applicable statute of limitation. Once the moving party meets its burden, the nonmoving party must produce a forecast of evidence demonstrating that the nonmoving party will be able to make out at least a prima facie case at trial. The evidence is to be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.
Plaintiffs Luther Deleon Moore and Sudie Marie Moore purchased a new 1989 recreational vehicle ("RV"), which was manufactured by defendant Coachmen Industries, Inc. ("Coachmen") and defendant Sportscoach Corporation of America ("Sportscoach"). The RV was covered by a one year/15,000 mile "Limited Warranty," which included a disclaimer of liability for incidental or consequential damages and a statement limiting implied warranties in duration to the term of the written warranty. Later, the RV and its contents were destroyed by a fire, which the Moores claimed was caused by faulty electrical wiring. The Moores filed a lawsuit in North Carolina state court against Coachmen, Sportscoach and Magnetek, Inc., alleging negligence and breach of implied and express warranties. Defendants filed motions for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. The Moores appealed.
Did the trial court err in granting the summary judgment in favor of defendants?
The court of appeals affirmed the trial court's judgment. The court ruled, inter alia, that defendants' supporting affidavits for their summary judgment motions were competent as they were made upon personal knowledge, acquired through review of business records, and the information was made known in the course of the affiant's employment. In addition, the Moores failed to plead or demonstrate that the limitations in the limited warranty were unconscionable or otherwise invalid.
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