Attorney Tom Pohl secured a Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal with prejudice of all claims brought against a large logistics-industry equipment supplier by a company that purchased parts for an industrial conveyor system that it was designing and building. The case was filed in in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania more than a year ago. The plaintiff alleged that the supplier had assumed certain design responsibilities in connection with supplying the parts, and brought claims against the supplier for (1) breach of contract, (2) breach of warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, (3) breach of warranty of workmanlike condition, and (4) fraudulent inducement. Attorney Pohl, on behalf of the supplier, moved for dismissal of all claims, arguing the parties’ written agreement and the supplier’s standard terms and conditions combined to foreclose all of the plaintiff’s claims. Attorney Pohl additionally argued that Pennsylvania’s “gist of the action” doctrine barred the fraud-based claim.
On September 23, 2021, U.S. District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter issued a 16-page memorandum opinion siding with Pohl’s arguments. The court then entered a corresponding order, dismissing the case in its entirety, with prejudice.
Commenting on the defense win, Attorney Pohl noted: “This is a great reminder to our commercial clients of the importance of making sure that their companies have appropriate, updated agreements in place for their business activities, whether we’re talking about standard terms and conditions, master services agreements, purchase order forms, or other types of documents. Those of us at Burns White that litigate these types of agreements are always happy to sit down with clients before there is ever a dispute so that we can review the documents that you are using and make sure that you have what you need to protect your business interests.”