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Paper AB v. Bedford Materials Co., Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

April 18, 2018

MUNKSJO PAPER AB, Plaintiff,
v.
BEDFORD MATERIALS CO., INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          KIM R. GIBSON JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss Count III of Defendant's First Amended Answer, Affirmative Defenses, and Counterclaims. (ECF No. 35.) The Motion has been fully briefed (see ECF Nos. 36, 38) and is ripe for disposition.

         This case arises from disputes involving a long-term supply agreement between Defendant Bedford Materials Co., Inc. ("Bedford") and Plaintiff Munksjo Paper AB ("Munksjo"). Munksjo now asks this Court to dismiss Count III of Bedford's three-count First Amended Answer, Affirmative Defenses and Counterclaims ("Amended Answer") for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) because Count III is barred by the gist of the action doctrine. Munksjo has not moved to dismiss Count I or Count II of the Amended Answer.

         For the reasons that follow, this Court will GRANT Munksjo's Motion.

         II. Jurisdiction and Venue

         The Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 1332(a)(1) because, according to the Amended Complaint and the Amended Answer, Munksjo is a Swedish company with its principal place of business in Sweden, Bedford is a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal place of business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. (ECF No. 13 ¶¶ 1-3; ECF No. 34 ¶¶ 1-3.)

         The Court has personal jurisdiction because Bedford has established sufficient minimum contacts with Pennsylvania and/or the claims asserted are related to or arise out of Bedford's contacts with Pennsylvania. (ECF No. 13 ¶ 4; ECF No. 34 ¶ 4.)

         Venue is proper in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2) because a substantial portion of the alleged events or omissions giving rise to Munksjo and Bedford's claims occurred in the Western District of Pennsylvania. (ECF No. 13 ¶ 8; see generally ECF No. 34.)

         III. Procedural History

         As this Court detailed in a prior opinion, see Munksjo Paper AB v. Bedford Materials Co., Inc., No. 3:16-cv-270, 2018 WL 351600, at *l-*2 (W.D. Pa. Jan. 9, 2018), Munksjo initiated the present matter by filing its original Complaint on December 27, 2016. (ECF No. 1.) In response, Bedford filed its first Motion to Dismiss and an accompanying brief on May 26, 2017. (ECF Nos. 9, 10.)

         Mooting this first Motion to Dismiss prior to a decision by this Court, Munskjo filed its Amended Complaint on June 15, 2017. (ECF No. 13.) Munksjo organized its Amended Complaint into four counts -all alleging claims arising out of business transactions between Munksjo and Bedford. Specifically, the Amended Complaint alleges claims for (1) breach of the Long Term Supply Agreement by Bedford for failure to make timely payments, (2) breach of the Promissory Note and the First Amendment to the Promissory Note by Bedford for failure to make timely payments, (3) breach of the Long Term Supply Agreement by Bedford relating to advance inventory held by Munksjo, and (4) unjust enrichment by Bedford for retaining Munksjo's product without payment. (Id. ¶¶ 31-64.)

         On June 29, 2017, Bedford responded by filing its Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (ECF No. 16) and its Brief in Support of Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint for Failure to State a Claim Upon Which Relief Can Be Granted. (ECF No. 17.) This Court dismissed Count IV of Munksjo's Amended Complaint, but, otherwise, denied Bedford's Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint through Memorandum Opinion and Order of January 9, 2018. See Munksjo, 2018 WL 351600, at *7.

         On February 23, 2018, Bedford filed its Amended Answer. (ECF No. 34.) Therein, Bedford alleged three counterclaims against Munksjo: (1) Count I for breach of contract; (2) Count II for anticipatory breach of contract; and (3) Count III for negligent misrepresentation. (Id. at 16-20.)

         Most pertinent here, on March 5, 2018, Munksjo filed the present Motion to Dismiss Count III of Defendant's First Amended Answer, Affirmative Defenses and Counterclaims and accompanying Brief in Support thereof. (ECF Nos. 35, 36.) Bedford filed its Response in Opposition on March 16, 2018. (ECF No. 38.)

         IV. Factual Allegations Set Forth ...


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