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Grasso Foods, Inc. v. Wynn Environmental Sales Co.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

July 18, 2018

GRASSO FOODS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
WYNN ENVIRONMENTAL SALES CO., Defendant.

          SHERMAN, SILVERSTEIN, KOHL, ROSE & PODOLSKY, P.A. By: Jeffrey P. Resnick, Esq. Attorneys for Plaintiff

          MORRIS WILSON, P.C. By: Seth D. Wilson, Esq. Attorneys for Defendant

          OPINION

          RENÉE MARIE BUMB UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, Grasso Foods, Inc. (“Grasso”) brings this suit alleging that it purchased a defective commercial mist collection system from Defendant Wynn Environmental Sales Company (“Wynn Environmental”). The Amended Complaint asserts claims for: (1) breach of contract, (2) breach of warranty, (3) unjust enrichment, (4) breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and (5) fraud in the inducement of the contract.[1]Wynn Environmental brings the instant Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) seeking dismissal of only the breach of express warranty, unjust enrichment, and fraud in the inducement claims. For the reasons stated herein, the motion will be denied.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The Amended Complaint alleges the following facts. On October 14, 2014, Grasso's “representative, ” John Maul, emailed Wynn Environmental inquiring about purchasing “a collection system designed to catch and eliminate a juice mist.” (Amend. Compl. ¶ 11)[2] Just over a week later, on October 22, 2014, “Dick Wynn of Wynn Environmental, ” (Id. ¶ 12)[3] came to “inspect” Grasso's plant in Swedesboro, New Jersey. (Id. ¶ 17)

         The following day, October 23rd, Wynn emailed Maul, allegedly stating “in part, ” “I have done some homework and find that the conductivity of your sorter water should be more than adequate to be collected with our Smog Hog Industrial, electrostatic precipitators.” (Amend. Compl. ¶ 18) Approximately three months later, on January 26, 2015, Wynn allegedly stated, in an email to Maul, “[w]e have come up with a system that will be environmentally friendly to your operation . . . and rated to collect all of the generated mist; returning the filtered air back into the plant free of mist.” (Id. ¶ 19)

         On April 14, 2015, Wynn allegedly emailed Maul a “‘formal proposal.'” (Amend. Compl. ¶ 21) The Amended Complaint fails to plead any facts whatsoever concerning the contents of the formal proposal, or even what the “proposal” was for.[4] According to Grasso, however, it “agreed in April 2015 to purchase” from Wynn Environmental “a ‘turn key' air infiltration system” recommended by Wynn Environmental. (Amend. Compl. ¶ 30) The Amended Complaint does not allege the type or model of air infiltration system Grasso ultimately purchased.[5] Nor does the Amended Complaint allege when the system was installed.

         The foregoing deficiencies aside, the Amended Complaint next pleads that “[u]pon installation, the system recommended and sold by Wynn Environmental did not work properly.” (Amend. Compl. ¶ 31) In this regard, the Amended Complaint alleges the following “problems” with the system: (1) “the noise of the blowers”; (2) “improper draining of the units”; (3) “improper sealing of the units”; and (4) “damaged mesh filters.” (Id. ¶¶ 33, 35) Grasso also vaguely alleges that the “air infiltration system never worked as it should have.” (Id. ¶ 36)

         Sometime in February, 2017, Grasso Foods allegedly “sought to return the system and demanded a return of the monies it paid to Wynn Environmental.” (Amend. Compl. ¶ 38) Wynn Environmental allegedly declined to accept the return, proposing instead, “a design change to the system” for a “‘fair price.'” (Id. ¶ 41) The Amended Complaint does not allege what the proposed design change was, nor how it might, or might not, address Grasso's problems with the system at issue. Rather, the Amended Complaint merely alleges that “the suggested design change would not affect the performance of the system.” (Id. ¶ 42)

         This lawsuit followed. As set forth above, the Amended Complaint asserts claims for (1) breach of contract, (2) breach of warranty, (3) unjust enrichment, (4) breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and (5) fraud in the inducement of the contract. Wynn Environmental moves to dismiss (2), (3) and (5).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         To withstand a motion to dismiss 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 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. at 663. “[A]n unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed me accusation” does not suffice to survive a motion to dismiss. Id. at 678. “[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment] to ...


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