United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
STANLEY F. FROMPOVICZ, JR., Plaintiff,
PTS REALTY HOLDINGS, LLC, Defendant.
Stanley F. Frompovicz, Jr. develops spring-water land and
supply sites. He asserts various tortious, contractual, and
quasi-contractual claims against Defendant PTS Realty
Holdings, LLC for an alleged misrepresentation it made upon
execution of a contract. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges
that, as he built a spring water bottling facility for
Defendant, it failed to hire a professional engineer as
required under their contract. Without an engineer's
oversight, Plaintiff avers that he incurred excessive costs
when building the facility. After Plaintiff and Defendant
arbitrated their dispute related to this contract, an
arbitration award was issued in Defendant's favor.
has moved for summary judgment on all of Plaintiff's
claims, contending that the arbitration resolved, or could
have resolved, the issues in Plaintiff's Complaint. For
the reasons that follow, Defendant's motion shall be
granted, and Plaintiff's Complaint will be dismissed with
prejudice on res judicata grounds. Plaintiff shall
furthermore be ordered to show cause why sanctions should not
issue for filing this duplicative lawsuit.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND 
crux of this dispute centers on a contract that governed the
construction of a facility in Brandonville, Pennsylvania.
Plaintiff owned land that he intended to sell to Defendant
after completing construction of the spring water bottling
facility (the “Brandonville Plant”). However,
besides developing spring water sites, Plaintiff purportedly
had no experience in constructing any facilities. Defendant,
by contrast, was allegedly a business familiar with the
minutiae of realty and property development. The gravamen of
Plaintiff's Complaint is that Defendant fraudulently
induced the inexperienced Plaintiff to enter into the
Brandonville Plant contract (the “Brandonville
Contract”) whereby Plaintiff performed construction
work without sufficient oversight.
in June 2011, the Brandonville Contract provided for the
arbitration of any “Claim, ” which was
specifically defined to include “other disputes and
matters in question between [Plaintiff] and [Defendant]
arising out of or relating to the Contract.” The
Contract furthermore designated Charles Yourshaw of Yourshaw
Engineering, Inc. as “Engineer” for the
construction project. Plaintiff contends that Defendant was
contractually required to enlist Yourshaw to design, monitor,
and oversee the Brandonville Plant construction. Defendant
did not do so, but, according to Plaintiff, assured him that
a professional engineer would oversee the construction.
Because no professional engineer was actually employed to
monitor the construction process, Plaintiff avers that he
incurred significant costs due to his inexperience.
the parties had a dispute about defects relating to
Plaintiff's construction work for the Brandonville Plant.
Defendant accordingly compelled arbitration, though Plaintiff
attempted to stay the arbitration in state court.
Plaintiff's petition to stay the arbitration was denied.
arbitration hearings took place on May 20, 2016 and September
20, 2016. Defendant sought compensatory damages for the
various construction defects. Plaintiff, on the other hand,
submitted no claims for the arbitrator's review. The
arbitrator found, among other things, that Plaintiff violated
the Brandonville Contract by “performing defective
installation of facility water pipes, drain pipes, plumbing
and heating. . . .” Consequently, the arbitrator
concluded that Plaintiff was liable for over $1 million.
Defendant then sought judicial confirmation of the
arbitration award in state court. To date, the arbitration
award has not yet been confirmed.
failing to assert any claims during the arbitration,
Plaintiff now presses eight claims: fraudulent inducement
(Count I); promissory estoppel (Count II); fraud (Count III);
negligent misrepresentation (Count IV); fraudulent
concealment (Count V); unjust enrichment (Count VI);
intentional infliction of emotional distress (Count VII); and
breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing (Count
VIII). Each Count is predicated on Defendant's alleged
promise to enlist the services of a professional engineer and
its failure to do so.
in response, initially moved to dismiss all claims under Rule
12(b)(6) on, inter alia, res judicata grounds.
However, because Defendant sought to introduce facts from the
arbitration award itself, its motion to dismiss was converted
into one for summary judgment. See Rycoline Products,
Inc. v. C & W Unlimited, 109 F.3d 883, 886 (3d Cir.
1997). The parties then submitted supplemental briefing and
additional materials relevant only to the res judicata
judgment is appropriate where there is ‘no genuine
dispute of material fact' and the moving party is
‘entitled to judgment as a matter of law.'”
Alabama v. North Carolina, 560 U.S. 330, 344 (2010)
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)). “The substantive law
identifies which facts are material.” Doe v.
Abington Friends Sch., 480 F.3d 252, 256 (3d Cir. 2007).
“A genuine issue is present when a reasonable trier of
fact, viewing all of the record evidence, could rationally
find in favor of the non-moving party in light of his burden
of proof.” Id. at 256 (citing Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-26 (1986));
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
Res Judicata as Applied to ...