United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
GET-ER-DONE DRILLING, INC., a Pennsylvania Corporation, Plaintiff,
US CROSSING UNLIMITED, LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company, and MICHAEL LIND, an adult individual, Defendants.
OPINION ON MOTION TO DISMISS COUNT VI AGAINST
DEFENDANT U.S. CROSSINGS UNLIMITED, LLC ECF NO. 7
Pupo Lenihan Magistrate Judge
pending before the Court is Defendant U.S.
Crossings Unlimited, LLC's Motion to Dismiss
(ECF No. 7) the unjust enrichment claim brought
against it in Count VI of the Amended Complaint. For the
reasons set forth below, the Court will deny the motion to
on or about November 5, 2014, the parties entered into a
series of verbal contracts regarding the provision of
services by Plaintiff, Get-Er-Done Drilling, Inc., in the
form of horizontal drilling and equipment rentals, to U.S.
Crossings on various jobs or projects in which U.S. Crossings
was under contract with a third party. (Am. Compl., ¶6,
ECF No. 3.) In these verbal contracts, it was agreed
that Defendant U.S. Crossings would utilize a number of
Plaintiff's pieces of equipment in exchange for 50% of
the contract price of any such job or project. (Id. at
¶7.) The parties further agreed that U.S. Crossings
would guarantee the return of all equipment as it was
received. (Id. at ¶8.)
when U.S. Crossings needed to have a bore drilled at one of
its projects, it would contact Plaintiff regarding the scope
of the job and the parties would verbally agree on the cost.
Once Plaintiff completed its work, it submitted its invoice
to U.S. Crossings for the agreed cost. U.S. Crossings
allegedly made partial or no payment on the submitted
invoices, thus necessitating in this litigation.
See, generally, Am. Compl., Count I (Maryland Job),
Count II (Rice Job), Count VIII (Caldwell Job), Count XI
(Clarksburg Job), Count XIV (Jewett Job), and Count XIX
(Moundsville Job), and supporting invoices (Exs. A through R
attached to Am. Compl., ECF Nos. 3-1 to 3-18). In each of
these counts, Plaintiff has brought claims for breach of
contract against U.S. Crossings based on the parties'
verbal agreements. In addition, Plaintiff has brought, in the
alternative, claims for unjust enrichment against U.S.
Crossings, in the event that the Court finds that the verbal
agreements referred to in Counts II, VIII, XI, XIV, and XIX
do not constitute binding contracts. See, generally,
Counts III, IX, XII, XVI, and XVIII, & XX.
Plaintiff's direct work in the Rice Job (see
Count II),  in September of 2015, the parties verbally
agreed that U.S. Crossings could rent a 312 Caterpillar Hoe
and additional equipment for four months for a share of the
profits (“Rice Rental”). (Am. Compl., ¶40.)
During this time, Plaintiff also provided labor to U.S.
Crossings by verbal agreement for clearing a bore path for
Clearpath Utilities to complete a bore on the Rice Job, at a
cost of $10, 000. (Id. at ¶ 41.) In addition,
Plaintiff determined that its cost for labor on the Rice
Rental was $15, 000, and that a reasonable rate for equipment
rental was $5, 000 per month for four months, or $20, 000.
(Id. at ¶¶42-44.) Plaintiff submitted its
bill for $45, 000 to U.S. Crossings on September 24, 2015 for
the Rice Rental, but has not received any payment.
(Id. at ¶ 45; Ex. G to Am. Compl., ECF No.
3-7.) These factual allegations are set forth in Count V
of the Amended Complaint in support of Plaintiff's breach
of contract claim against U.S. Crossings on the Rice Rental.
Plaintiff has also brought a claim for unjust enrichment
against U.S. Crossings, in the event the Court finds that a
contract did not exist with regard to the Rice Rental.
See, generally, Count VI, Am. Compl. In support of
this claim, Plaintiff incorporates its previous allegations,
and further alleges that it would be unjust to permit U.S.
Crossings to gain the benefit of the bargain without
compensating Plaintiff for his agreed upon share. (Am.
Compl., ¶¶ 46, 48.)
Crossings has moved to dismiss the unjust enrichment claim
brought against it in Count VI of the Amended Complaint with
regard to the Rice Rental. Plaintiff has filed a response and
brief in opposition. Thus, the motion is ripe for
deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Courts
apply the following standard, as recently reiterated by the
Court of Appeals:
A complaint may be dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6) for
“failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted”. . . . “To survive a motion to dismiss,
a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted
as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937
(citation and internal quotation marks omitted) (emphasis
added). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id.; see also Sheridan
v. NGK Metals Corp., 609 F.3d 239, 262 n. 27 (3d
Cir.2010). Although the plausibility standard “does not
impose a probability requirement, ” Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556, 127 S.Ct. 1955, it does require a pleading
to show “more than a sheer possibility that a defendant
has acted unlawfully, ” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129
S.Ct. 1937. A complaint that pleads facts “merely
consistent with a defendant's liability . . . stops short
of the line between possibility and plausibility of
entitlement to relief.” Id. (citation and
internal quotation marks omitted). The plausibility
determination is “a context-specific task that requires
the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense.” Id. at 679, 129 S.Ct. 1937.
Connelly v. Lane Constr. Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 786-87
(3d Cir. 2016).
upon the landmark Supreme Court decisions in Twombly
and Iqbal, the Court of Appeals in Connelly
reiterated the three-step process District Courts must
undertake to determine the sufficiency of a complaint:
First, it must “tak[e] note of the elements [the]
plaintiff must plead to state a claim.” Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 675, 129 S.Ct. 1937. Second, it should identify
allegations that, “because they are no more than
conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.” Id. at 679, 129 S.Ct. 1937. See
also Burtch v. Milberg Factors, Inc., 662 F.3d 212, 224
(3d Cir.2011) (“Mere restatements of the elements of a
claim are not entitled to the assumption of truth.”
(citation and editorial marks omitted)). Finally,
“[w]hen there are well-pleaded factual allegations,
[the] court should assume their ...