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Brant Screen Craft, Inc v. Watermarc Graphics

September 12, 2011

BRANT SCREEN CRAFT, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
WATERMARC GRAPHICS, INC. ET AL,
DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Dennis M. Cavanaugh

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

DENNIS M. CAVANAUGH, U.S.D.J.:

This matter comes before the Court upon the motion of Defendants Foot Locker Retail, Inc. ("Foot Locker") and Champs Sports ("Champs") (collectively, "Defendants") to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). In response, Plaintiff Brant Screen Craft, Inc. ("Plaintiff" or "Brant Screen") moves for leave to file an amended complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 78, no oral argument was heard. After considering all submissions and based upon the following reasons, it is the decision of this Court, for the reasons herein expressed, that Defendants' motion to dismiss is granted and Plaintiff's motion for leave to amend the complaint is denied.

I. BACKGROUND*fn1

Plaintiff Brant Screen is a Canadian corporation which produces print material in the form of posters and the like for promotions and advertising to retailers.*fn2 Foot Locker is a New York corporation and leading retailer of athletic footwear and apparel. Champs is a mall-based specialty brand division of Foot Locker.*fn3 Defendant Watermarc Graphics, Inc. ("Watermarc") is an independent marketing communications and printing provider.*fn4 Watermarc serves as broker and distributor of Plaintiff's products and distributed Plaintiff's products to Defendants between October of 2009 and April of 2010. (Pl.'s Am. Compl. at ¶ 13). Plaintiff states that it has not received payment in full for services rendered. (Pl.'s Am. Compl. at ¶ 2). Plaintiff alleges that Watermarc owes $833,516.74 for goods ordered. Plaintiff attributes $710,133.73 of that sum to goods and materials that Watermarc shipped to Foot Locker.

Plaintiff's Amended Complaint suggests that Defendants are liable based on a NJUFTA violation and, alternatively alleges Defendants breached a contractual obligation. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c) on January 26, 2011. Plaintiff filed a cross-motion for leave to amend the complaint on February 18, 2011.

II. LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Motion to Dismiss

There is no material difference in the applicable legal standards for a Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings and a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss; for the sake of familiarity the "motion to dismiss" formulation will be employed by this Court. Spruill v. Gillis, 372 F.3d 218, 223 n.2 (3d Cir. 2004). In deciding a motion to dismiss, the District Court is "required to accept as true all factual allegations in the complaint and draw all inferences in the facts alleged in the light most favorable to [the Plaintiff]." Phillips v. Cnty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 228 (3d Cir. 2008). The Plaintiff's "obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his 'entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). "A complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations." Id. However, "[a court is] not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation." Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986). Instead, when their truth is assumed, those factual allegations "must be enough to raise a right to relief above a speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

In reviewing a motion to dismiss, it is well-established that a court should "consider only the allegations in the complaint, exhibits attached to the complaint, matters of public record, and documents that form the basis of a claim." M & M Stone Co. v. Pennsylvania, 388 Fed.Appx. 156, 162 (3d Cir. 2010).

B. Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint

Courts will freely give leave to amend "when justice so requires." Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). However, leave to amend may be denied where the amendment would be futile, frivolous, or a waste of time. Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962); Adams v. Gould, 739 F.2d 858, 868 (3d Cir. 1984), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1122 (1985). Leave may be denied where the amendments would not withstand a motion to dismiss, or in other words, where the amendments fail to state a ...


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