United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah
SUSAN B. BARTHOLF PLAINTIFF
GENERAL MOTORS et al. DEFENDANTS
B. Russell, Senior Judge United States District Judge.
Susan B. Bartholf filed this pro se civil action on
a general complaint form. Because Plaintiff is proceeding
in forma pauperis, this Court must review the
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). For the
reasons that follow, the Court will dismiss this action.
SUMMARY OF COMPLAINT
states that she is a resident of Kentucky. She brings this
action against General Motors, LLC; Dwain Taylor Chevrolet;
and Motorists Insurance Group. Plaintiff indicates that the
basis for the Court's jurisdiction in this action is both
the federal-question statute and diversity of citizenship.
Plaintiff identifies the basis for federal-question
jurisdiction as “Title 49 of United States Code,
Chapter 301 Supportive Federal Regulations Product Safety
Recall # 15757.” She indicates that General Motors,
LLC, 's principal place of business is in Michigan; Dwain
Taylor Chevrolet's principal place of business is in
Kentucky; and Motorists Insurance Group's principal place
of business is in Ohio.
states that in September 2016 she took her car to Dwain
Taylor Chevrolet “for diagnostics on the computer for
an airbag light and a Key Fob recall.” She states that
Dwain Taylor Chevrolet gave her “modified key fobs (2)
with new parts” but when she inquired about
diagnostics, she was told “it wasn't performed, no
time today . . . .” Plaintiff then states that on April
9, 2017, her car caught on fire. Plaintiff alleges that she
subsequently learned that the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) had issued a product safety recall for
her car for “under hood fire” in February 2016.
seems to claim that she is suing Dwain Taylor Chevrolet for
violating the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act, 49 U.S.C.
§ 30101 et seq., by returning her car in
September 2016 without fixing the hood fire defect that was
the subject of a recall. She specifically cites to the
NHTSA's Recall Bulletin concerning the under hood fire
which states: “It is a violation of Federal law for a
dealer to deliver a new motor vehicle or any new or used item
of motor vehicle equipment (including a tire) covered by this
notification under a sale or lease until the defect or
noncompliance is remedied.” Plaintiff also indicates
that she is suing Dwain Taylor Chevrolet for negligence,
“criminal negligence violation of Federal Law by NHTSA
by not repairing the . . . recall, ” and
“fraudulent cover up.”
states that she is suing General Motors, LLC, for product
liability, strict liability, and “cover up.”
These claims are based upon General Motors' alleged
failure to warn her about the hood fire defect in her car and
the recall, “secret warranties, ” and its refusal
to “help her” or compensate her for the damages
she claims she sustained as a result of her car fire.
states that she is suing the Motorists Insurance Group, the
insurer of Dwain Taylor Chevrolet, for the negligent
investigation of her claim and for “violation of the
federal laws of the NHTSA and the cover-up.” Plaintiff
indicates that these claims are based upon the investigation
that Motorists Insurance Group conducted into her claim
against Dwain Taylor Chevrolet, which she alleges involved
“fabricated witnesses . . . discrepancies, untrue
statements [and] photo enhanced documents.”
seeks damages totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars
“for permanent injuries and consequential
damages” and “repetitive stress injuries”
she sustained as result of the alleged car fire and
Defendants' actions. These injuries include
“manic/panic attacks, ” nausea, vomiting, pain,
and economic hardship that has “almost killed her one
more than one occasion.”
review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), a district court must
dismiss a case at any time if it determines that the action
is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B); McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d
601, 608-09 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds
by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007).
order to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim,
“a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556). “[A] district court must (1) view the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and
(2) take all well-pleaded factual allegations as true.”
Tackett v. M & G Polymers, USA, LLC, 561 F.3d
478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009) (citing Gunasekera v.
Irwin, 551 F.3d 461, 466 (6th Cir. 2009) (citations
courts are to hold pro se pleadings “to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers,
” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972), this
duty to be less stringent “does not require us to
conjure up unpled allegations, ” McDonald v.
Hall, 610 F.2d 16, 19 (1st Cir. 1979), or to create a
claim for a plaintiff. Clark v. Nat'l
Travelers Life Ins. Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir.
1975). To command otherwise would require courts “to
explore exhaustively all potential claims of a pro
se plaintiff, [and] would also transform the district
court from its legitimate advisory role to the improper role
of an advocate seeking out the strongest arguments and most
successful strategies for a party.” Beaudett v.
City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).