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Gadley v. Ellis

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

May 15, 2015

GARY GADLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
JERRY ELLIS, trading as JERRY ELLIS CONSTRUCTION, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

KIM R. GIBSON, District Judge.

I. Introduction

Before the Court in this matter are Plaintiff Gary Gadley's motion for reconsideration and motion to reopen discovery. (ECF No. 41). In his motion for reconsideration, Plaintiff asks this Court to reconsider its previous ruling on Defendant Jerry Ellis's motion for summary judgment. In its memorandum opinion and order (ECF No. 38), this Court granted Defendant's motion for summary judgment, finding that the economic loss doctrine barred Plaintiff's claim at Count III of the complaint for damages under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law ("UTPCPL"). Plaintiff now argues that the Court should reconsider its previous ruling based on new evidence in the case, specifically, the intrusion of water into Plaintiff's home, which allegedly has caused damage to the home as a result of the defective installation of the roof panels at issue in this case. For the reasons below, the Court will GRANT Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration and will vacate its ruling concerning Plaintiff's claims against Defendant under the UTPCPL at Count III of the complaint.

II. Jurisdiction and Venue

The Court has jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 and 28 U.S.C. § 1441. Venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391.

III. Background

The Court previously set forth the facts underlying this action in its memorandum opinion on Defendant's motion for summary judgment. ( See ECF No. 38). The Court will summarize the relevant facts below and will include Plaintiff's asserted "newly acquired facts." ( See ECF No. 42 at 3-4).

This case arises from the construction of a timber frame home by Plaintiff, Gary Gadley, for his personal use. Plaintiff designed the home with the assistance of an architectural firm and served as his own general contractor during its construction. (ECF No. 18-1 at 9-14). For his roof, Plaintiff decided to use structural insulated panels ("SIPs") after learning about them from a friend and discussing the product with representatives from an SIP manufacturer at a timber frame conference. (Id. at 22-23). Plaintiff eventually contracted with a company, Thermocore, in the state of Indiana to design and construct the SIPs for his home. (Id. at 24-25).

In response to an inquiry from Plaintiff, Thermocore identified Defendant, Jerry Ellis Construction, [1] as a panel installer and provided Plaintiff's contact information to Defendant. (Id. at 30). Shortly thereafter, Defendant contacted Plaintiff, providing him with a proposal for the installation of the SIPs. (ECF No. 18-2 at 19, 21). On October 5, 2011, Plaintiff agreed to hire Defendant to install the SIP panels on his roof for $7, 550. (ECF No. 18-1 at 30-31).

Defendant installed the SIPs on Plaintiff's home between October 27, 2011, and October 29, 2011. (ECF No. 1-2 at ¶ 15, 22). Almost immediately, Plaintiff identified several shortcomings in the quality of the installation. These issues included numerous gaps and misalignments between the panels, a lack of proper overhang at the edge of the roof, and the fact that the end of each SIP did not properly rest on a support rafter. (ECF No. 18-1 at 34-36, 39-40). Plaintiff also became alarmed at the amount of cutting and sledgehammering that Defendant had to do in order to get the panels to fit properly. (ECF No. 26-12 at 6-7). When Plaintiff raised these concerns, Defendant repeatedly assured him that the installation was proceeding in a normal manner and that nothing was wrong. (Id. ).

Based on his belief that the SIP panels had been improperly installed, Plaintiff initiated the instant action by filing a complaint in the Court of Common Pleas of Somerset County on December 21, 2012. (ECF No. 1-2 at 3). Defendant removed the complaint to this Court on January 18, 2013. (Id. at 1). In his complaint, Plaintiff asserted a claim for breach of contract at Count I, a claim for breach of express and implied warranties at Count II, and a private cause of action pursuant to the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law at Count III. On January 6, 2014, Defendant filed a partial motion for summary judgment, [2] arguing that Plaintiff's UTPCPL claim was barred by the gist of the action doctrine and/or the economic loss doctrine. (ECF No. 16). On July 23, 2014, the Court issued a memorandum opinion and order granting Defendant's motion for summary judgment as to Plaintiff's UTPCPL claim. (ECF No. 38).

On December 12, 2014, Plaintiff filed the pending motion for reconsideration (ECF No. 41) along with a brief in support (ECF No. 42). Plaintiff then filed a number of supplements to his motion and brief. (ECF Nos. 46, 47). Defendant filed a response in opposition. (ECF No. 48). Thereafter, the parties filed additional briefing and exhibits. ( See ECF Nos. 50, 51-1, 55, 56-2, 62). Plaintiff's motion is now fully briefed and ripe for review.

IV. Standard of Review

"The purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.'" Lazaridis v. Wehmer, 591 F.3d 666, 669 (3d Cir. 2010) ( quoting Max's Seafood Cafe v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1998)). A motion for reconsideration may only be granted if the moving party demonstrates at least one of the following grounds: (1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence; or (3) the need to correct clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice. Lazaridis, 591 F.3d at 669 ( citing N. River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995)); Max's Seafood Cafe, 176 F.3d at 677.

Because courts have a strong interest in the finality of their judgments, a motion for reconsideration is inappropriate to express mere dissatisfaction with a court's previous ruling. D'Angio v. Borough of Nescopeck, 56 F.Supp.2d 502, 504 (M.D. Pa. 1999); Velazquez v. UPMC Bedford Mem'l Hosp., 338 F.Supp.2d 609, 611 (W.D. Pa. 2004) ("dissatisfaction with [a court's] ruling is not a proper basis for reconsideration"). Furthermore, "a motion for reconsideration is not to be used as a means to reargue matters already argued and disposed of or as an attempt to relitigate a point of disagreement between the Court and the litigant." Ogden v. Keystone Residence, 226 F.Supp.2d 588, 606 (M.D. Pa. 2002); see also Lazaridis, 591 F.3d at 669 (upholding a district court's denial of a motion for reconsideration because advancing "the same arguments that were in [the movant's] complaint and motions" was "not a proper basis for reconsideration"). In other words, it is improper on a motion for reconsideration to restyle or reargue issues previously presented. Pahler v. City of Wilkes-Barre, 207 F.Supp.2d 341, 355 (M.D. Pa. 2001).

V. Discussion

The Court previously granted Defendant's partial motion for summary judgment as to Count III of the complaint, finding that Plaintiff's UTPCPL claim was barred by the economic loss doctrine. Plaintiff now contends that the Court ...


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