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Harbison v. Louisiana-Pacific Corporation

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

March 20, 2014

WILLIAM HARBISON, individually and on behalf of all other similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
LOUISIANA-PACIFIC CORPORATION, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ARTHUR J. SCHWAB, District Judge.

This is a putative class action lawsuit wherein the purported class has asserted a breach of express warranty claim. Before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. Doc. no. 77. Plaintiff timely filed a Response in Opposition (doc. no. 83) thereby making the matter ripe for disposition.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Procedural History

On June 14, 2013, the Named Plaintiff (hereinafter "Plaintiff") filed this putative class action asserting a claim for breach of express warranty on behalf of himself and others similarly situated. Doc. no. 1. In response to Plaintiff's Complaint, on November 25, 2013, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss. Doc. no. 16. Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on December 9, 2013, presumably to cure the issues by Defendant in its Motion to Dismiss. Doc. no. 25.

On December 23, 2013, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint arguing that Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Doc. no. 41. After full briefing on this matter, on February 6, 2014, the Court issued an Opinion and Order granting in part and denying in part, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint. Doc. nos. 61-62. In its Opinion and Order, the Court held that Plaintiff had asserted a cognizable claim for breach of express warranty, but noted that the language of that warranty was not unconscionable (as Plaintiff suggested in his Amended Complaint), and thus, limited Plaintiff's damages to those that the express warranty provided. Doc. no. 61. In this Opinion, the Court specifically noted that Plaintiff's went to great lengths to prove he was entitled to the promises made by Defendant in the express warranty, but he did not want to be bound to the amount of recovery provided by the express warranty - and argued that that portion of the warranty was "unconscionable." Id.

As a result of the Court's Opinion and Order, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend his Amended Complaint to include additional allegations to bolster his claim that the "damages" or "remedy" language of the express warranty was unconscionable. Doc. no. 64. Defendant filed a Brief in Opposition to the Motion to Amend the Amended Complaint (doc. no. 67) and the Court denied Plaintiff's Motion to Amend the Amended Complaint. Doc. nos. 70, 74. In its Opinion setting forth its reasons for denying Plaintiff's Motion, the Court explained that it had reviewed express warranty and had previously determined that based on that language, the "remedy" provided by express warranty was not unconscionable; thus, any attempt to amend the Amended Complaint would be futile. Doc. no. 74.

On March 7, 2014 Defendant filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment (doc. no. 77), and on Plaintiff filed a Response in Opposition. Doc. no. 83.

B. Relevant, Material Facts

ABTco and Defendant manufactured and sold TrimBoard, an exterior Trim Product. Doc. no. 82, ¶ 1. ABTco is a former subsidiary of Defendant that merged into Defendant. Id., ¶ 4.

Defendant sold TrimBoard with a "10/5 Year Limited Warranty." Id., ¶ 2k. The terms of warranty expressly state (in pertinent part):

TEN YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY - SUBSTRATE
ABT Building Products Corporation warrants its TrimBoard... for a period of ten years from the date of installation under normal conditions of use and exposure, providing the trim is properly stored, installed, maintained, and protected as specified in ABTco's Application Instructions. Should the product fail within ten years of the date of installation, ABTco, Inc.... will replace the defective trim on the following basis: ABTco will compensate the owner for the repair and replacement ...

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