Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sabina v. Davison Design & Development, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

February 25, 2014

MICHAEL SABINA, Plaintiff,
v.
DAVISON DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT, INC. d/b/a DAVISON, a Pennsylvania Corporation, GEORGE DAVISON, III, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ARTHUR J. SCHWAB, District Judge.

I. Introduction

Pending before this Court is Defendants' Motion to Compel Arbitration and for a Stay of Pre-trial Deadlines Pending Disposition of this Motion (doc. no. 5). The case was originally filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, but was removed to this Court on the basis of federal question. Plaintiff brings a five count Complaint alleging violation of the American Inventor's Protection Act ("AIPA") (Counts I and IV), fraudulent misrepresentation/inducement/concealment (Count II), breach of contract/good faith and fair dealing, (Count III), and unjust enrichment (Count V). The underlying dispute, properly categorized as a "copycat action, " filed by a disgruntled customer against Davison Design & Development, Inc. and its CEO George M. Davison, III ("Defendants") mirror a substantively identical (and related) case filed by another customer of Davidson Design that was recently before this Court - Wee v. Davison Design & Development, et al. Case No. 2:13-cv-01678 (" Wee "). The Court was asked to resolve the same question in Wee, that is, whether the dispute at issue in that case was governed by an arbitration agreement in the contracts between the parties. By an Order dated December 18, 2013, the Court, found that it was, and enforced the arbitration agreement containing the same language as in the present case, compelled Plaintiff to pursue the matter in AAA arbitration, and dismissed the case while retaining jurisdiction to enforcement any judgment of said arbitration. 2:13-cv-01678 (doc. no. 9). This Court is again asked to determine whether the present dispute is covered by the parties contract(s) which contain two (2) allegedly broad agreements to arbitrate.

II. Factual Background

According to the Complaint in this matter, Mr. Sabina is the purported inventor of a "concept involving a pool winterizing snorkel." Doc. No. 1-2 at ¶ 6. In order to aid in the development of his invention, Mr. Sabina entered into three invention-related contracts with Davison Design - a Pre-Development and Representation Agreement, a Confidentiality Agreement, and a New Product Sample Agreement ("NPSA"), all of which are referred to and attached to Plaintiff's Complaint. Id. at ¶ 7.

Critically, section III(C) of the Pre-Development and Representation Agreement states:

C. Disputes; Arbitration

For any dispute, the parties agree to seek to resolve the dispute through good faith negotiation. For any dispute not resolved through good faith negotiation, the parties agree that all disputes shall be resolved through arbitration before the American Arbitration Association ("AAA") in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania using the Commercial Arbitration Rules in effect on the date that the claim is submitted to AAA. Client agrees that any claim must be brought in an individual capacity, and not as a plaintiff or class member in any purported class or representative proceeding.

Additionally, Section 6(A) of the New Product Sample Agreement contains a virtually identical provision:

6. CHOICE OF LAW; ARBITRATION; CURE
A. This Agreement shall be governed by the law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is deemed to be executed, entered into and performed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For any dispute, the parties agree to seek to resolve the dispute through good faith negotiation. For any dispute not resolved through good faith negotiation, the parties agree that all disputes shall be resolved through arbitration before the American Arbitration Association ("AAA") in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania using the Commercial Arbitration Rules in effect on the date that the claim is submitted to the AAA. Client agrees that any claim must be brought in an individual capacity, and not as a plaintiff or class member in any purported class or representative proceeding.

III. Applicable Standard of Review/Case Law

Defendants move to compel arbitration, and therefore, appropriately move this Court to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See Doc. No. 6 at fn 3 (citing Somerset Consulting, LLC v. United Capital Lenders, LLC , 832 F.Supp.2d 474 (E.D. Pa. 2011).

Recently, in Guidotti v. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, LLC , 716 F.3d 764 (3d Cir. 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, citing Somerset Consulting, resolved the "split pronouncements on ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.