United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
ST. LOUIS MOTORSPORTS, LLC, Plaintiff,
GAY, JR., ET AL., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PATRICIA L. COHEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Rudy Gay's motion
to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2) and
12(b)(6). (ECF No. 21). Plaintiff St. Louis
Motorsports, LLC (“STL Motorcars”) opposes the
motion, and the Court heard oral arguments on February 30,
2018. (ECF Nos. 25 & 45). For the reasons stated below,
the Court grants the motion.
and Procedural Background
Motorcars filed this action for fraud and negligent
misrepresentation in the Circuit Court of the County of St.
Louis (ECF No. 5). Mr. Gay, with the consent of Defendant Pro
Motorsports, removed the action to this Court. (ECF No. 2).
The facts, as alleged in the petition, are as follows:
Motorcars is a Missouri limited liability company that buys,
sells, trades, and repairs high-end, luxury vehicles. (ECF
No. 5 at ¶ 2). Pro Motorsports, also a Missouri limited
liability company, represents professional athletes,
executives, and companies in transactions in the exotic and
luxury car market. (Id. at ¶ 4). In November
2013, Pro Motorsports represented Mr. Gay, a professional
basketball player, in the purchase of a 2013 Rolls Royce
Phantom Coupe (“Phantom”). (Id. at
¶¶ 6, 9, 10).
February 2016, Pro Motorsports, “acting as Mr.
Gay's agent, ” offered to sell the Phantom back to
STL Motorcars. (Id. at ¶ 15). Pro Motorsports
assured STL Motorcars that the Phantom was in
“perfect” and “like new” condition,
and a March 2016 CarFax vehicle history report and warranty
check revealed no accidents or damage to the vehicle.
(Id. at ¶¶ 16, 17). STL Motorcars
repurchased the Phantom from Pro Motorsports on March 4, 2016
for $250, 000.(Id. at ¶19).
April 2017, STL Motorcars obtained a new CarFax history
report and warranty check, which revealed that, in July 2015,
the Phantom sustained extensive damage to its undercarriage.
(Id. at ¶¶ 20- 22). STL Motorcars alleges
that “[d]ue to the Phantom's damage history and
Defendants' concealment and misrepresentations, STL
Motorcars has been unable to sell the Phantom.”
(Id. at ¶ 27).
Motorcars filed a two-count petition against Defendants Mr.
Gay and Pro Motorsports alleging claims of fraud and
negligent misrepresentation. (Id.). STL Motorcars
asserts that Mr. Gay is subject to jurisdiction in Missouri
because Pro Motorsports, a Missouri entity, “was acting
as Mr. Gay's agent” when it sold STL Motorcars the
Phantom. (Id. at ¶¶ 5-7). STL Motorcars
alleged: “Jurisdiction is proper in this Court pursuant
to Mo. Rev. Stat. § 506.500 in that the parties
transacted business within Missouri and because Defendants
committed tortious acts towards STL Motorcars within
Missouri.” (Id at ¶ 7).
moves to dismiss the case pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2), arguing
that he is not subject to jurisdiction in Missouri because he
was not a party to the transaction between STL Motorcars and
Pro Motorsports, he has no connection to Missouri, and Pro
Motorsports was not acting as his agent. (ECF No. 21). In
regard to agency, Mr. Gay asserts that he does not have the
agency relationship with Pro Motorsports necessary to
establish contact with Missouri because: (1) Mr. Gay had no
legal relationship with STL Motorcars that Pro Motorsport had
the power to alter; and (2) Mr. Gay had no right to control
the conduct of Pro Motorsports in its sale of the Phantom to
STL Motorcars. (Id at 8).
response, STL Motorcars maintains that it pleaded sufficient
facts to support a reasonable inference that Mr. Gay is
subject to jurisdiction in Missouri. (ECF No. 25). More
specifically, STL Motorcars states that: Mr. Gay contracted
with one Missouri entity and authorized it to sell the
Phantom to another Missouri entity; Mr. Gay owned and
possessed the Phantom throughout the negotiations between STL
Motorcars and Pro Motorsports; and Mr. Gay delivered the
Phantom to STL Motorcars in St. Louis, Missouri.
Additionally, STL Motorcars argues that Pro Motorsports was
Mr. Gay's agent and, therefore, Pro Motorsports' acts
or conduct may be the basis for jurisdiction over Mr. Gay.
support of its memorandum in opposition to Mr. Gay's
motion to dismiss, STL Motorcars submitted: a Declaration of
Brian Tull; printouts from Pro Motorsports' website; and
text messages exchanged between Mr. Tull and Mr. Lewis from
January 26, 2016 through February 19, 2016. (ECF No. 25-1).
In his declaration, Mr. Tull states:
• When Mr. Lewis contacted Mr. Tull seeking a bid on the
Phantom, Mr. Lewis “informed me that he was working on
behalf of Mr. Gay and had authority to negotiate a sale price
of the Phantom”;
• Mr. Gay maintained “ownership and
possession” of the Phantom throughout the negotiations;
• Based on Pro Motorsports' conduct and statements,
Mr. Tull believed that Pro Motorsports “was in
discussions with Mr. Gay throughout the negotiations”
and did not have authority to act or agree to any terms
without MR. Gay's approval;
• Mr. Gay only titled ownership of the Phantom to Pro
Motorsports after STL Motorcars and Pro Motorsports agreed on
a final sales price; and
• STL Motorcars received the Phantom in Missouri
directly from Mr. Gay's personal ...