United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Failure to
State a Claim (Doc. No. 2) and Plaintiff's Response in
Opposition thereto (Doc. No. 9). For the reasons below,
Defendants' Motion is granted as to Plaintiffs' fraud
claim and denied in all other respects.
Facts and Procedural History 
Select Comfort Retail Corp. and Select Comfort Corp.
(collectively “Select Comfort”) design,
manufacture, advertise, distribute, and sell Sleep
Number® beds. In 1993 or 1994, Plaintiffs Alan Prushan
(“Mr. Prushan”) and Carol Prushan (“Ms.
Prushan”) purchased a Sleep Number bed directly from
point in time unknown to Plaintiffs, Select Comfort received
complaints about toxic mold growing in Sleep Number beds.
Select Comfort neither recalled the beds nor provided notice
to purchasers. Indeed, Plaintiffs cite in their complaint a
2004 press report in which Select Comfort's CEO stated
that Select Comfort had “intentionally been selective,
rather than broad, in our public communication of the issue
(mold reports) because we believe it is better for the
mattress industry and ourselves not to keep this topic in the
headlines, causing unnecessary concern for consumers.”
(Compl. ¶ 16).
allege that they first learned of “the toxic mold
problem, ” (Compl. ¶ 12), in November 2014, at
which time Plaintiffs inspected their Sleep Number bed and
discovered that it was contaminated with toxic mold.
Plaintiffs allege that, since at least 1999, Mr. Prushan
suffered from severe and permanent injuries caused by his
exposure to the toxic mold in his bed and that such injuries
are the direct and proximate result of Select Comfort's
diversity jurisdiction, Plaintiffs filed their complaint in
October 2016. Plaintiffs allege numerous violations of state
law, in particular strict liability, product liability,
design defect, manufacturing defect, and failure to warn
(Count I); negligent design and/or maintenance - product
liability (Count II); negligence - defective manufacture -
product liability (Count III); negligence - failure to warn -
product liability (Count IV); loss of consortium (Count V);
and fraud (Count VI).
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) requires a court to dismiss
a complaint if the plaintiff has failed to “state a
claim on which relief can be granted.” In evaluating a
motion to dismiss, the court must take all well-pleaded
factual allegations as true, but it is not required to
blindly accept “a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation.” Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265,
286 (1986). Although a plaintiff is not required to plead
detailed factual allegations, the complaint must include
enough facts to “raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).
Statute of Limitations
first argue that all of Plaintiffs' claims are barred by
the statute of limitations. The parties are in agreement that
Pennsylvania law applies and that the statute of limitations
for Plaintiffs' claims is two years. See 42 Pa.
Cons. Stat. § 5524(2).
to Defendants, the statute of limitations began to accrue
when Mr. Prushan's injury was first sustained in 1999 (or
earlier) and therefore Plaintiffs' claims have long been
time-barred. Plaintiffs respond that Pennsylvania's
“discovery rule” exception tolled the statute of
limitations because Plaintiffs were incapable of ascertaining
the nature of Mr. Prushan's illness and its cause until
they discovered the mold in their mattress in November 2014.
Defendants answer that the discovery rule is inapplicable to
this case. In the alternative, Defendants argue that even if
the discovery rule does apply, Plaintiffs' claims would
still be time-barred because the discovery rule exception
would have expired in 2009 when Defendants created a website
dedicated to providing information concerning mold in Sleep
Number beds. (Doc. No. 2-1, at 9-10).
statue of limitations period “generally begins to run
as soon as the injury is sustained.” Davis v. Wells
Fargo, 824 F.3d 333, 344 n.13 (3d Cir. 2016) (citation
omitted). “In general, ‘lack of knowledge,
mistake or misunderstanding do not toll the running of the
statute of limitations.'” Id. (citing
Pocono Int'l Raceway, Inc. v. Pocono Produce,
Inc., 503 Pa. 80, 84-85 (1983)). “As an exception
to that principle, Pennsylvania adheres to the
‘discovery rule, ' which can, in limited
circumstances, afford plaintiffs additional time for the
filing of ...