The opinion of the court was delivered by: POLLAK
In passing on a motion for summary judgment, the court must review the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, in this case Prousi.
So viewing the record, it appears that on April 11, 1995, Prousi purchased a yacht from Greenwich Boat Works in New Jersey, an authorized dealer of Cruisers boats. The boat was manufactured by Cruisers in all respects other than that of the engine, which was manufactured and warranted separately by defendant Crusader. The vessel was launched in Greenwich in May 1995; thereafter Prousi hired Tim Silvio to pilot the boat to Delaware and eventually to Maryland. Prousi testified in his deposition that the vessel stalled several times in the course of its journey and that he reported this to Greenwich Boat Works.
In July 1995, Prousi notified Kenneth Hayes, an agent of Cruisers, of several minor problems he was having with his boat. Prousi had these problems repaired by local mechanics. After Prousi notified Cruisers of these problems, Cruisers sent parts at no charge and notified Greenwich Boat Works that Cruisers would reimburse Prousi for his other expenses if Greenwich Boat Works, whom Cruisers believed was responsible, did not. See Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment against Defendant Cruisers, Exhibit B.
In October, Prousi contracted with Annapolis Motor Yachts ("AMY") to move the boat to Annapolis. AMY found that the starboard engine was not functioning properly and had local mechanic Tom Vogel inspect the engine. Vogel reported that the valves in the starboard engine were rusted and sticking as a result of water having intruded into the engine. After further inspection, Vogel opined that the water probably came in through the exhaust system, which was installed by and presumably warranted by Cruisers. On October 13, 1995, Prousi notified Cruisers by fax of the problem with the engine. Cruisers responded that the engine was warranted by Crusader and referred Prousi thereto for warranty service. On the 16th Prousi sent a letter to Crusader with the same request for warranty work. Crusader apparently authorized Vogel to continue his inspection of the engine. On October 26, 1995, Prousi directed Vogel to cease work on the engine.
Summary judgment will be granted if there is no genuine issue of material fact. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). In the motion before the court, Cruisers argues that Prousi did not deliver the vessel to an authorized dealer as required by the warranty and did not permit warranty work to be effected on the engine. Prousi urges that many facts are in dispute. Of these, the material fact that Prousi disputes is defendant's contention that Prousi or his counsel prevented Cruisers from repairing the problem. Cruisers' arguments and Prousi's responses will be discussed in turn.
A. Failure to Perform Condition Precedent
Cruisers argues that Prousi never presented the boat to an authorized Cruisers dealer for warranty work and consequently failed to perform a condition precedent to Cruisers' warranty obligations. Prousi does not contest Cruisers' factual contention. If meritorious, Cruisers' argument would support summary judgment for defendant irrespective of other contested issues, for even if Prousi did not affirmatively prevent warranty work, his failure to perform a condition precedent would bar recovery.
The warranty explicitly states that "for warranty service, the boat must be delivered to the selling dealer." However, the issue remains whether Cruisers is entitled to rely on this condition. Cruisers may not rely on the condition if it has waived its right to do so. From the record before the court, viewed as it must be in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, it is apparent that a fact-finder could reasonably conclude that defendant has waived reliance on this condition. Under Pennsylvania law,
a waiver of legal rights can arise by "a clear unequivocal, and decisive act of the party claimed to have waived its rights, with knowledge of such right and evident purpose to surrender it." Keenan v. Scott Township Auth., 151 Pa. Commw. 226, 616 A.2d 751 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1992). See also, Evcco Leasing Corp. v. Ace Trucking Co., 828 F.2d 188 (3d Cir. 1987). Waiver may be effected by a party's words or conduct. When waiver is implied from conduct, it applies in those situations that would support equitable estoppel. Penn Mutual Life Ins. v. Bank of New England, 756 F. Supp. 856 (E.D. Pa. 1991); Brown v. City of Pittsburgh, 409 Pa. 357, 186 A.2d 399 (Pa. 1962). See also Walsh v. Ford Motor Co., 588 F. Supp. 1513 (D.D.C. 1982) (recognizing equitable estoppel under the Magnuson-Moss Act to hold that plaintiffs who had not presented ...