United States District Court, D. New Jersey, Camden Vicinage
THOMAS P. GORCZYNSKI, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
ELECTROLUX HOME PRODUCTS, INC., SUPER K CORPORATION d/b/a ABC DISCOUNT APPLIANCES, MIDEA AMERICA CORP., MIDEA MICROWAVE AND ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES MANUFACTURING CO., LTD., AND ABC CORPS. 1-10, Defendants.
MONGELUZZI, BARRETT & BENDESKY, P.C. By: Simon B. Paris,
Esq.; Patrick Howard, Esq.; Charles J. Kochner, Esq. Counsel
for Plaintiff Thomas P. Gorczynski
K&L GATES LLP By: Patrick J. Perrone, Esq.; Loly G. Tor,
Esq.; Michael S. Nelson, Esq. Counsel for Defendant
Electrolux Home Products, Inc.
GREENBERG HELLER & REIDY, LLP By: Gerhard P. Dietrich,
Esq.; Gabrielle A. Giombetti, Esq. Counsel for Defendant
Midea America Corp.
OPINION [DKT. NOS. 69, 70]
RENÉE MARIE BUMB, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Thomas P. Gorczynski (“Plaintiff”) brings this
putative class action, alleging that Defendants Electrolux
Home Products, Inc. (“Electrolux”) and Midea
America Corp. (“Midea USA”)(together,
“Defendants”) knowingly manufactured, marketed,
and sold microwaves with defective handles in violation of
the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (“CFA”),
N.J.S.A. § 56:8-2. Plaintiff also claims that Defendant
Electrolux violated the Magnuson-Moss Consumer Products
Warranties Act (“MMWA”), 15 U.S.C. § 2301,
et seq., and breached the implied warranty of
merchantability. On April 29, 2019, this Court issued an
Opinion (the “April 29 Opinion”)[Dkt. No. 67],
denying Defendants' motions to dismiss [Dkt. Nos. 35,
Electrolux and Midea USA each move for reconsideration of
this Court's April 29 Opinion to “correct a clear
error of law or fact to prevent injustice.” For the
reasons set forth herein, Midea USA's Motion for
Reconsideration (the “Midea MFR”)[Dkt. No. 69]
will be GRANTED, but Electrolux's Motion
for Reconsideration (the “Electrolux MFR”)[Dkt.
No. 70] will be DENIED.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
putative class action, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants
designed, manufactured, and marketed over-the-range
stainless-steel microwaves (the “Microwaves”)
with defective stainless-steel handles that become
excessively hot if an individual is cooking on a stovetop
below (the “Handle Defect”). Plaintiff alleges
that in May 2015, he purchased a Frigidaire Gallery
Over-the-Range Microwave, which is a model that suffers from
the Handle Defect. See Am. Compl., at ¶ 12.
contends that the Microwaves in question, including his own,
were manufactured by Midea Microwave China (“Midea
China”) and distributed by Electrolux in the
United States. As alleged in the Amended Complaint, Midea USA
is “the North American headquarters of Midea, the
world's leading manufacturer of air conditioners and home
appliances.” See id. at ¶ 26. Meanwhile,
Electrolux “distributes products under a variety of
brand names, including Electrolux, Electrolux ICON,
Frigidaire Professional, Frigidaire Gallery, Frigidaire,
Eureka, Kelvinator, Sanitaire, Tappan, and
White-Westinghouse.” See Id. at ¶ 17.
alleges that the Handle Defect causes the Microwaves'
handles to reach temperatures as high as 200̊ Fahrenheit
when a cooktop below is operating at full power. See
Am. Compl., at ¶ 6. Because the high temperature of the
handle can make it unsafe for an individual to open the
Microwave door, Plaintiff claims that the Handle Defect
renders the Microwave unreasonably dangerous and unfit for
its intended purpose when the range below is being used.
See id. at ¶ 8.
to Plaintiff, Midea China became aware of the Handle Defect
during testing in 2010, prior to distributing the Microwaves
in the United States. See Am. Compl., at ¶ 6.
Plaintiff further alleges that these test results were
accessible to Electrolux as early as 2010, and customers
complained about the Handle Defect as early as 2013, yet
Electrolux continued to sell the Microwaves throughout the
United States, with over 70, 000 sales in New Jersey.
Id. Plaintiff contends that, despite full knowledge
of the Handle Defect, Defendants have neither rectified the
issue (through repair or replacement of the handle) nor
warned consumers about the existence of the Handle Defect.
filed the initial complaint [Dkt. No. 1-1], individually and
on behalf of all others similarly situated, in the New Jersey
Superior Court, Camden County, in May 2018. Electrolux
removed the case to this Court on June 15, 2018. Following a
pre-motion letter filed by Electrolux, expressing an intent
to file a motion to dismiss, Plaintiff filed the Amended
Complaint on August 6, 2018. This Court issued an Opinion and
Order on April 29, 2019, denying the Defendants' motions
to dismiss. Now, this matter comes before the Court upon
motions for reconsideration, filed by Electrolux and Midea
USA, asking this Court to reconsider its decision to deny
their respective motions to dismiss.
LEGAL STANDARD - MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
to Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and
Local Civil Rule 7.1(i), a motion for reconsideration must be
based on one of three grounds: (1) an intervening change in
controlling law, (2) new evidence not previously available,
or (3) a clear error of law or manifest ...