Smith v. G. Joannou Cycle Co., Inc., no. 06-1577, (D. S.C. 2007)

Michael Smith wanted what every other Tour de France enthusiast (do those really exist?) wanted: (1) a bicycle that performed and was in good working order; (2) a crisp clear day for riding; and (3) a song in his head to pass the time while he engaged in his biking experience. Surely Smith believed he could realize this Armstrong-esque dream by purchasing a $279 bicycle from the G. Joannou Cycle Co., right? Apparently not! 

Smith’s “Steel Wheels” dream failed when his bicycle malfunctioned, leaving him with “Mixed Emotions.” He felt betrayed, and a little like a Crash Test Dummy. Then, when the folks at Joannou refused to honor a purported warranty to fix the bike, Smith gave them the ultimate “Badmotorfinger” and took their banana seats (not this kind of banana seat, but this kind,

 to Court. In fact, Smith filed his suit in federal court based on diversity.

The Court dismissed Smith’s case, holding that there was “No Way” that Smith could meet the minimum $5,000,000 amount in controversy threshold based on his and similar $279 claims. While the Court’s opinion was short and to the point, your CAFA bloggers retrieved a discarded copy of the Court’s original proposed opinion. The Court, apparently a big Queen fan, had a song in mind to deliver its opinion:

Bicycle bicycle bicycle

Smith wanted to ride a bicycle bicycle bicycle

Smith wanted to ride a bicycle

So went to buy a bike

Smith tried to ride his bicycle

It broke and Joannou wouldn’t fix his bike


He said black they said white

He said warrant they said, right (in the “as-if” voice)

He said why they said hey man

Your card was never in the mail

And we can’t fix it without


Bicycle bicycle bicycle

Smith sued Joannou over his bicycle bicycle

He wanted to ride his bicycle

He wanted them to fix his bike

But only spent $279 on his bicycle

And that don’t meet the minimum “height” to ride this

Bicycle … Bicycle … Bicycle