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.

Hatteras Press, Inc. v. Avanti Computer Systems Ltd.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

June 30, 2017

HATTERAS PRESS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
AVANTI COMPUTER SYSTEMS LIMITED, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          MARY L. COOPER United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Hatteras Press, Inc. (“Hatteras”) is a commercial printing company that entered into a License Agreement with Defendant Avanti Computer Systems Limited (“Avanti”) to use Avanti's “Slingshot” software platform. Hatteras alleges that the Slingshot software platform has not functioned properly and has sued Avanti for damages under several theories of liability. Avanti has now moved to dismiss Count Two (violations of the New Jersey and Delaware Consumer Fraud Acts), Count Four (breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing), and Count Six (unjust enrichment) of the Amended Complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP). (Dkt. 15.)[1] For the reasons below, we will grant in part and deny in part Avanti's motion. We resolve this motion without oral argument. See L.Civ.R. 78.1(b).

         I. Background

         Hatteras is a commercial printing company that entered into a License Agreement with Avanti in August 2014 to use Avanti's proprietary “Slingshot” software platform. (Dkt. 14 at 2-3.) The Slingshot software platform is designed to assist commercial printers with various aspects of their businesses. (Id. at 3-4.) Hatteras alleges that Avanti made numerous false representations about the capabilities of the platform and further alleges that the Slingshot software platform has proven to be “worthless and useless.” (Id. at 3-7.) Seeking compensation for its alleged damages, Hatteras sued Avanti under a number of legal theories, and specifically: (1) common law fraud, fraud in the inducement, and fraudulent nondisclosure; (2) violations of the New Jersey and Delaware Consumer Fraud Acts; (3) breach of contract; (4) breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (5) breach of warranty; and (6) unjust enrichment. (Id. at 8-19.)

         Avanti has moved to dismiss three counts of Hatteras' Amended Complaint. First, Avanti argues that Hatteras cannot recover under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act or Delaware Consumer Fraud Act because those statutes are inapplicable to the parties' transaction. (Dkt. 15-3 at 11-15.) Second, Avanti argues that Hatteras cannot recover under the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing because the parties' dispute is covered by the express terms of the License Agreement. (Id. at 15-17.) Third, Avanti argues that the existence of the License Agreement precludes Hatteras' recovery under an unjust enrichment theory. (Id. at 17.) Finally, Avanti asks us to dismiss Hatteras' claims for certain damages as precluded under the terms of the License Agreement. (Id. at 18.) We address each argument in turn.

         II. Motion to Dismiss Standard

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) permits a court to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. When evaluating a motion to dismiss, a court must accept all factual allegations as true, construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and determine whether, under any reasonable reading of the complaint, the plaintiff may be entitled to relief. See Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009). In other words, a complaint survives a motion to dismiss if it contains 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).

         In evaluating the sufficiency of a plaintiff's factual pleadings, a court must take three steps:

First, the court must take note of the elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim. Second, the court should identify allegations that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Finally, where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement for relief.

Santiago v. Warminster Twp., 629 F.3d 121, 130 (3d Cir. 2010) (citations and quotation marks omitted). However, “a court need not credit a plaintiff's ‘bald assertions' or ‘legal conclusions' when deciding a motion to dismiss.” Sands v. McCormick, 502 F.3d 263, 268 (3d Cir. 2007) (quotation omitted).

         III. Consumer Fraud Claims

         A. Parties' Arguments

         Avanti argues that Hatteras cannot recover under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (“NJCFA”) or Delaware Consumer Fraud Act (“DCFA”). Avanti's primary argument is that the NJCFA does not apply to this case because Avanti and Hatteras are sophisticated commercial entities and their business dealings cannot be considered a “consumer oriented” transaction falling within the scope of the NJCFA. (Dkt. 15-3 at 12.) Avanti submits that Hatteras' DCFA claims should fail for the same reason because the DCFA is “almost identical” to the NJCFA. (Id. at 11-12.) Avanti also argues that the DCFA does not apply because the Amended Complaint alleges no acts taking place in Delaware. (Id. at 15.)

         Hatteras responds that the NJCFA should be interpreted broadly, and that its scope extends to the dispute in this case. (Dkt. 16 at 19-20.) Hatteras notes that the NJCFA has been extended to cover transactions between corporate entities and disputes Avanti's characterization of Hatteras as a sophisticated consumer. (Id. at 22.) Highlighting various allegations in the Amended Complaint, Hatteras argues that it “fell for . ...


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.