United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
KAISER MARTIN GROUP, INC., formerly known as KAISER CONSTRUCTION CO., INC., Plaintiff,
HAAS DOOR CO., Defendant.
J. PAPPERT, J.
Martin Group sued Haas Door Company for damages arising from
the sale of twenty-four retractable garage doors manufactured
by Haas. Kaiser, a construction company, was engaged by Brad
and Andrea Heffler to construct a horse-riding arena on their
property in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Kaiser alleges
that Haas's doors, which were installed along the walls
of the arena, leaked and caused damage to the structure.
February 15, 2019, Kaiser filed this lawsuit in the
Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, asserting six claims
“directly and as an assignee of Heffler v. Haas”
for breach of manufacturer's warranties (Count I), breach
of implied warranties (Count II), breach of contract (Count
III), negligence (Count IV), strict liability (Count
and violations of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and
Consumer Protection Law (Count VI). (Compl., ECF No. 1.)
Kaiser served the Complaint on March 27 and Haas timely
removed the case to this Court on April 25. (Notice of
Removal, ECF No. 1.) Haas now moves to dismiss all claims
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the
reasons that follow, the Motion is granted with leave to
amend some of the claims.
and Angela Heffler hired Kaiser to construct a horse-riding
arena on their property. (Compl. ¶ 5.) Kaiser entered a
subcontract with Shank Door Company, an authorized
distributor of doors manufactured by Haas. (Id. at
¶ 9.) Shank installed twenty-four retractable doors with
glass window panes (“commercial model # CA-110”)
along the walls of the arena. (Id. at ¶¶
Haas doors came with a written manufacturer's warranty.
(Id. at ¶ 10.) The warranty provides:
“Haas Door Company warrants its commercial models
CA-110 and CA-220 series aluminum garage door sections to be
free from defects in workmanship and material for a period of
one (1) year from date of installation.” (Compl. Ex.
A.) It continues, in relevant part:
The Warranty excludes: (1) Sections and/or component parts
which have been damaged due to misuse; (2) Sections and/or
components which have been improperly installed, maintained
or operated; (3) Sections and/or components that have been
damaged due to accident; (4) Sections and/or components that
have been damaged due to exposure to corrosive
fumes/chemicals, alkaline cleaning agents, condensation or
fire; (5) Performance of coatings used to finish the garage
door sections; (6) Repair and/or replacement labor charges,
including travel cost; (7) Damages resulting from causes
beyond the manufacturers [sic] control.
In the event any defect is claimed during the warranty
periods, a claim in writing must be submitted to Haas Door
Company, directed through an authorized Haas Door Company
dealer or installer. This claim must be submitted within
fifteen (15) days of the discovery of the suspected defect. .
THE MANUFACTURER SHALL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INCIDENTAL
OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF ANY BREACH OF THIS
EXPRESS LIMITED WARRANTY, including but not limited to any
damage to buildings, other property or for any injuries or
damages sustained by any person whomsoever, or the recovery
of any direct or indirect costs such as shipping, travel,
lost time, installation labor charges, paint or painting,
cleaning, repair, or other building materials. . . .
THIS WARRANTY PRINTED ABOVE IS THE ONLY WARRANTY APPLICABLE
TO THE PURCHASE; THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES WHICH EXTEND BEYOND
THE DESCRIPTION ON THE FACE HEREOF. ANY EXPRESS WARRANTY NOT
PROVIDED HEREIN, AND ANY REMEDIES WHICH BUT FOR THE WARRANTY
CONTAINED HEREIN MIGHT ARISE BY IMPLICATION OR OPERATION OF
LAW, IS HEREBY EXCLUDED AND DISCLAIMED, INCLUDING THE IMPLIED
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
PURPOSE. . . .
THIS WARRANTY IS NOT TRANSFERRABLE.
(Id. (emphasis in original).)
the arena's construction, but before the warranty
expired, the Hefflers discovered that the doors “leaked
significantly, and that this leaking was causing damage to
the Arena.” (Compl. ¶ 11.) Kaiser alleges that
“Haas was promptly and timely notified of the problem,
and remedial efforts were taken to cure the leaking.”
(Id. at ¶ 12.) Haas replaced the doors'
window panes with “new Haas-manufactured panes.”
(Id. at ¶ 13.) The replacement work was done by
“an entity that Haas, based upon [Kaiser's]
information and belief, retained to address a chronic leak
problem that Haas Doors had been experiencing
nationwide.” (Id. at ¶ 14.)
windows came with their own written manufacturer's
warranty. (Id. at ¶ 15.) The warranty
provides: “Haas Door Company warrants the reglazing of
all glass windows on Haas Door CA110 overhead garage doors
previously installed at 720 Swedesford Road, Ambler,
Pennsylvania, for a period of one year from completion of the
reglazing, against water intrusion from rain or snow.”
(Compl. Ex. B.) Like the warranty for the doors, this
warranty required that “a claim in writing must be
submitted to Haas Door Co., directed through an authorized
Haas Door Co. dealer or installer . . . within 15 days of the
discovery of the suspected defect.” (Id.)
the window repairs, the doors continued to leak.
(Id. at ¶ 16.) “A request was then made
for Haas to replace the defective Doors entirely.”
(Id. at ¶ 17.) Haas refused. (Id. at
2016, the Hefflers initiated a lawsuit by filing a Writ of
Summons in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.
(Id. at ¶ 19.) In 2018, they filed a complaint
against Kaiser, Haas and Shank asserting claims for breach of
express and implied warranties, breach of contract,
negligence, strict liability and violations of the UTPCPL.
(Id.); see Complaint, Heffler v. Kaiser
Constr. Co., Inc., No. 2016-23211 (Pa. Ct. Com. Pl.
Montgomery Cty. Feb. 6, 2018).
September 5, 2018, Haas entered into a tolling agreement with
the Hefflers, requiring the Hefflers to file a stipulation
dismissing the lawsuit as to Haas without prejudice and
tolling the limitations period “on all Claims from the
Filing Date through and including the earlier of (i) February
1, 2020 or (ii) the initiation of a new lawsuit by the
Hefflers against Haas . . . .” (Compl. Ex. C at 29-30.)
The agreement provides that the Hefflers “shall be
free, on ten days written notice to Haas's attorney . . .
to assert Claims against Haas in a new lawsuit.”
(Id. at 30).
alleges that “[o]n or about March 13, 2019, Heffler and
Haas, through counsel, discussed coordinating dates for an
inspection of the Doors, and that Kaiser would be filing a
new action under the rights assigned in a settlement”
between the Hefflers and Kaiser. (Compl. ¶ 21.)
According to Kaiser, its settlement with the Hefflers is
confidential. (Id. at ¶ 22.) Kaiser attached to
the Complaint only one provision of the Settlement Agreement:
5. Assignment of Claims. The Hefflers hereby assign
and convey to Kaiser all of their claims and causes of action
against Haas as set forth in their complaint in the Lawsuit,
including but not limited to all claims arising out of or
relating to the existing Doors, the installation of such
Doors, the failed remediation efforts, and/or the damages
caused by water leakage from the Doors (collectively, the
“Assigned Claims”). . . . In the event Settling
Defendants fail to timely and fully complete the Project in
accordance with Section 3 above, the Hefflers shall have the
option (but not the obligation), exercisable on five days
written notice to Kaiser's attorney, to revoke the
assignment set forth in this Section 5 and to pursue the
Assigned Claims on their own.
(Compl. Ex. C at 28.)
survive dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), a complaint “must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is
facially plausible when the facts pled “allow[ ] the
court to draw the reasonable inference that [a] defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678. “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not
permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of
misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not
‘show[n]'-‘that the pleader is entitled to
relief.'” Id. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
and Iqbal require the Court to take three steps to
determine whether a complaint will survive a motion to
dismiss. See Connelly v. Lane Const. Corp., 809 F.3d
780, 787 (3d Cir. 2016). First, it must “take note of
the elements the plaintiff must plead to state a
claim.” Id. (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 675). Next, it must identify the allegations that are no
more than legal conclusions and thus “not entitled to
the assumption of truth.” Id. (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679). Finally, where the
complaint includes well-pleaded factual ...