Johnson v. Volvo Cars of North America LLC
To prevail on a breach-of-fiduciary-duty count, a plaintiff must prove the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. The plaintiff, Vivian Johnson, purchased a Volvo XC90 and sued Volvo Cars of North America LLC. The court granted the defendant's motion to strike the pro se plaintiff's breach-of-fiduciary-duty count, because the plaintiff's complaint failed to allege that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty, which is a required element. "Without first alleging that a duty existed," wrote the court, "the plaintiff cannot state a claim for breach of a duty." The court also granted the defendant's motion to strike the plaintiff's count alleging the defendant violated Connecticut General Statutes §§42-221 and 42-222, because these statutes do not provide a private cause of action. Even if the court liberally construed the plaintiff's §§14-221 and 42-222 claims as alleging that the defendant engaged in fraud, the plaintiff's complaint failed to allege that the defendant knowingly issued a false statement, which is a required element. To prevail on fraud, a plaintiff must prove: 1.) the defendant issued a false representation as a statement of fact to induce the plaintiff's reliance; 2.) the statement was false and known to be false; and 3.) the plaintiff relied on the defendant's false representation and was injured. The court also granted the defendant's motion to strike the plaintiff's product-liability count, which alleged that the defendant was responsible for alleged design and manufacturing defects, pursuant to C.G.S. §52-572m. The statute does not provide a private cause of action, and the plaintiff failed to state a legal claim.