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Ach Enterprises 1 LLC, On Behalf of Itself and Others Similarly Situated v. Viking Yacht Company

October 7, 2011

ACH ENTERPRISES 1 LLC, ON BEHALF OF ITSELF AND OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
VIKING YACHT COMPANY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Joseph E. Irenas

OPINION

IRENAS, Senior District Judge:

This is a breach of warranty suit.*fn1 Plaintiff alleges that it, and others similarly situated, purchased from Defendant Viking Yacht Company yachts with a latent defect in the gel coat covering the hulls of the boats. Viking Yacht moves to dismiss the claims, asserting that they are barred by the applicable statute of limitations. For the reasons stated herein, the Motion will be granted.

I.

The parties' dispute arises from cracked gel coat on over 800 yachts sold by Defendant Viking Yacht. This is not the first lawsuit to arise from the allegedly defective "953 Series" gel coat. The undersigned presided over the trial of Viking Yacht's breach of warranty suit against the gel coat manufacturer in July of 2009, which Viking Yacht lost. Many of the background facts relevant to this case may be found in opinions generated from the prior lawsuit and will not be repeated. See generally Viking Yacht Co. v. Composites One LLC, 385 F. App'x 195 (3d Cir. 2010); Viking Yacht Co. v. Composites One LLC, 622 F. Supp. 2d 198 (D.N.J. 2009); Viking Yacht Co. v. Composites One LLC, 496 F. Supp. 2d 462 (D.N.J. 2007). Suffice it to say that Viking Yacht alleged in its previous case, and Plaintiff also alleges, that the 953 Series gel coat cracks when exposed to the elements, and such cracking is very expensive to repair.*fn2

The instant Motion exclusively concerns the timeliness of Plaintiff's Complaint, thus only a few facts and allegations require discussion. "In February of 2008, Plaintiff purchased a used 65' Viking Convertible [Yacht] that was manufactured by Viking in 2001." (Compl. ¶ 43) "In April of 2008, only two months after the purchase, the Defect rapidly manifested on the Convertible Yacht, resulting in extensive and catastrophic gel coat cracking on the hull." (Id. ¶ 46) Sometime between April 2008 and August 2008, Plaintiff "demanded" a "warranty repair" of the defect. (Id. ¶ 47) Allegedly, Viking Yacht initially agreed to repair the cracked gel coat, but then in November 2009, cancelled the scheduled repair informing Plaintiff by letter that it had lost its lawsuit against the gel coat manufacturer and that "Viking is not, and may never be, in a position to repair these boats and absorb these additional costs." (Compl. Ex. 3) The letter did, however, state that Viking Yacht would pursue an appeal.*fn3 (Id.)

On June 21, 2011, Plaintiff filed the instant Complaint which alleges three counts: (1) violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2301 et seq.; (2) breach of express warranty pursuant to New Jersey's Uniform Commercial Code; and (3) breach of the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose pursuant to New Jersey's Uniform Commercial Code.

Plaintiff alleges that Viking Yacht breached its written warranty by refusing to repair the cracked gel coat. The "Viking Yacht Company One Year Limited Warranty" states, in relevant part:

Viking Yacht Company warrants to the original purchase, for a period of One (1) year, from the date of delivery or Eighteen (18) months from the date of shipment from the factory, or upon completion of Two Hundred (200) hours of operation, which ever comes first, the following: That Viking will, through the selling dealer, replace or repair, at the discretion of Viking, any part or component, manufactured by Viking which is proven to the satisfaction of Viking to be defective, and which has occurred under normal use and service within the warranty period. (Kasinski Decl. Ex. 1)*fn4

Viking Yacht moves to dismiss all three claims of the Complaint, asserting that they are time-barred.

II.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides that a court may dismiss a complaint "for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." In order to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must allege facts that raise a right to relief above the speculative level. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2).

While a court must accept as true all allegations in the plaintiff's complaint, and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d Cir. 2008), a court is not required to accept sweeping legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations, unwarranted inferences, or unsupported conclusions. Morse v. Lower Merion Sch. Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997). The complaint must state sufficient facts to show that the legal allegations are not simply possible, but plausible. Phillips, 515 F.3d at 234. "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual ...


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