Multi-Million Dollar Counterclaim Against Autobahn Imports Dismissed Because Of Failure To Exhaust Administrative Remedies

April 3, 2018 in Case Summaries


Levinger PC persuaded the Fifth Circuit to affirm the dismissal of a multi-million dollar breach of contract counterclaim asserted by Jaguar Land Rover North America against Autobahn Imports, a franchised automobile dealer in Fort Worth. Rejecting JLRNA’s argument that the counterclaim did not allege any violation of the Texas Motor Vehicle Code and therefore did not invoke the jurisdiction of the Board of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, the Court held that the “underlying facts still require determinations governed by the Code” and thus the counterclaim fell within the Board’s exclusive jurisdiction. The Court also held that dismissal rather than abatement was appropriate because the counterclaim raised many of the same allegations that the Board had already adjudicated against JLRNA in a related case. In successfully arguing this exhaustion-of-remedies argument, Levinger PC had to overcome a previous Fifth Circuit opinion that could be read to suggest that the Board did not have exclusive jurisdiction over contractual disputes between dealers and manufacturers. Autobahn Imports, LP v. Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC, No. 17‑10349, 2018 WL 1612252 (5th Cir. Apr. 3, 2018).


Courts: Federal Courts of Appeals

Subject Matter: Business Litigation, Procedural & Evidentiary Issues