Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wineburgh v. Jaxon International, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

August 21, 2019

JUSTIN B. WINEBURGH and RACHEL SILL, Plaintiffs,
v.
JAXON INTERNATIONAL, LLC and BRADEN RICHTER, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

          GERALD J. PAPPERT, J.

         Justin Wineburgh and Rachel Sill sued Jaxon International, LLC, a furniture company, and its manager Braden Richter for breach of warranty, breach of contract and violations of Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. The claims arise from Plaintiffs' purchase of furniture for their Philadelphia apartment.[1] Defendants' Answer asserted two paragraphs of “counterclaims, ” which the Court dismissed upon Plaintiffs' motion because they failed to articulate a cause of action. (ECF No. 21.) The Court granted Defendants' request for leave to amend, and Defendants asserted three amended counterclaims for breach of contract.[2]

         Plaintiffs move to dismiss the amended counterclaims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). In response, Defendants move for leave to amend a second time. The Court grants the Motion to Dismiss and denies the Motion for Leave to File a Second Amended Counterclaim for the reasons that follow.

         I

         A

         To survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the plaintiff must allege “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). A complaint must provide “more than labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citation omitted). “Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact).” Id. (citation omitted). While a complaint need not include detailed facts, it must provide “more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

         Twombly and Iqbal require the Court to take three steps to determine whether the complaint will survive defendants' 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 allegations, the Court “should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Id. (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679). The Court should “construe truths in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and then draw all reasonable inferences from them.” Id. at 791.

         B

         Defendants' Amended Counterclaims allege that Jaxon and Sill entered a written contract obligating Jaxon to sell and Sill to purchase forty-one pieces of furniture for $96, 868. (Am. Countercl. ¶ 1, ECF No. 22.) Defendants allege Plaintiffs that breached the contract by “unjustifiably demanding that Jaxon remanufacture” certain furniture when it arrived at Jaxon's showroom in Los Angeles from Indonesia, where it was manufactured (Count I), by “demand[ing] that Jaxon repair and/or replace furniture allegedly damaged in transit” to Philadelphia “under threat by plaintiffs of litigation in Philadelphia” (Count II) and by “threaten[ing] Jackson [sic] with a lawsuit in Philadelphia unless it remade” ten chairs (Count III). (Id. at ¶¶ 9-15, 16-20, 21-26.) Defendants claim that they incurred $77, 000 in damages when they “acceded to plaintiff's unjustified demands.” See (id. at ¶¶ 14, 19, 25).

         To state a claim for breach of contract under Pennsylvania law, plaintiffs must allege “there was a contract, the defendant breached it, and plaintiffs suffered damages from the breach.” McShea v. City of Phila., 606 Pa. 88, 97 (Pa. 2010) (citing Hart v. Arnold, 884 A.2d 316, 332 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2005)). Plaintiffs argue that the counterclaims do not allege a breach of duty; Plaintiffs were contractually bound to purchase furniture for $96, 868, and Defendants do not allege that they failed to do so. Defendants appear to concede this point. See (Defs.' Resp. Pls.' Second Mot. Dismiss (“Defs.' Resp.”) 1-2, ECF No. 25). Because the counterclaims do not allege that Plaintiffs breached a contractual duty, the Court grants Plaintiffs' Motion.

         II

         A

         The Court's discretion to deny leave to amend, “circumscribed by Rule 15's directive in favor of amendment, must be ‘exercised within the context of liberal pleading rules.'” Mullin v. Balicki, 875 F.3d 140, 150 (3d Cir. 2017); Shifflett v. Korszniak, 2019 WL 3772104 at *7 (3d Cir. Aug. 12, 2019) (“Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2) states that the Court ‘should freely give leave [to amend] when justice so requires.'”). In determining whether leave to amend might reasonably be denied, the Court looks to factors identified by the Supreme Court in Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178 (1962). See Mullin, 875 F.3d at 149.

         “Prejudice to the non-moving party is the touchstone for the denial of an amendment, ” id. at 150 (quoting Arthur v. Maersk, Inc., 434 F.3d 196, 204 (3d Cir. 2006)), but denial of leave to amend may also be based on futility, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, and undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant. Id. at 149 (citing Foman, 371 U.S. at 182 and United States ex rel. Schumann v. AstraZeneca Pharm. L.P., 769 F.3d 837, 849 (3d Cir. 2014)). Amendment is futile if the proposed pleading could not withstand a renewed motion to dismiss. City of Cambridge Ret. Sys. v. Altisource Asset Mgmt. Corp., 908 F.3d 872, 878 (3d Cir. 2018) (quoting Jablonski v. Pan Am. World Airways, Inc., 863 F.2d 289, 292 (3d Cir. 1988)). “In assessing ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.