Harbison v. Louisiana-Pacific Corp., 021815 FED3, 14-1863

Docket Nº:14-1863
Opinion Judge:FISHER, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:WILLIAM HARBISON, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Appellant v. LOUISIANA-PACIFIC CORPORATION
Judge Panel:Before: FISHER, JORDAN and GREENAWAY, Jr., Circuit Judges.
Case Date:February 18, 2015
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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WILLIAM HARBISON, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Appellant

v.

LOUISIANA-PACIFIC CORPORATION

No. 14-1863

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

February 18, 2015

NOT PRECEDENTIAL

Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a) January 20, 2015

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (W.D. Pa. No. 2-13-cv-00814) (District Judge: Arthur J. Schwab)

Before: FISHER, JORDAN and GREENAWAY, Jr., Circuit Judges.

OPINION [*]

FISHER, Circuit Judge.

William Harbison installed TrimBoard, a non-structural trim lumber, on his house in 2003. The TrimBoard came with a ten-year warranty in which the manufacturer, Louisiana-Pacific Corp., agreed to compensate the owner for repair and replacement up to twice the original purchase price of the affected trim. In 2010, the TrimBoard failed. Harbison sued Louisiana-Pacific, claiming that Louisiana-Pacific breached the warranty and that the damages limitation was unconscionable. The District Court dismissed Harbison's unconscionability claim, denied him leave to amend his complaint, and granted summary judgment to Louisiana-Pacific on the breach of warranty claim. We will affirm.

I.

We write principally for the parties, who are familiar with the factual context and legal history of this case. Therefore, we will set forth only those facts that are necessary to our analysis.

In 2003, Harbison hired contractors and subcontractors to install trim on his garage. His contractor purchased TrimBoard, made by Louisiana-Pacific. The TrimBoard came with the following warranty:

Should the product fail within ten years of the date of installation, [the manufacturer] after investigation and verification, will replace the defective trim on the following basis: [the manufacturer] will compensate the owner for repair and replacement of the affected trim no more than twice the original purchase price of the affected trim if failure occurs within ten years.1

In 2010, Harbison discovered that the TrimBoard had begun to rot, leading to water damage to the TrimBoard and possibly other parts of his home.

Harbison made a claim to Louisiana-Pacific under the warranty. In 2011, an inspector for Louisiana-Pacific inspected the TrimBoard. Louisiana-Pacific offered Harbison $2, 780.08. Louisiana-Pacific calculated this offer by measuring the amount of TrimBoard affected, increasing that amount by twenty percent to account for material wasted during the installation, then applying the original purchase price and sales tax, for a total price of $1, 390.04 for the TrimBoard installed. Louisiana-Pacific then doubled this amount to reach its offer under the warranty. Harbison declined the offer.

In June 2013, Harbison filed a purported class-action complaint against Louisiana-Pacific. In December 2013, he filed an amended purported class-action complaint for breach of warranty and declaratory judgment. Harbison claimed that the damages limitation in the ten-year warranty was unconscionable and should be stricken and that once the limitation was stricken, Louisiana-Pacific breached the express warranty.

Louisiana-Pacific moved to dismiss the amended complaint. The District Court granted the motion in part and denied it in part. The District Court found that Harbison could claim the benefit of the express warranty under the Pennsylvania Commercial Code but that Harbison could not claim that the damages limitation was unconscionable. Accordingly, the District Court denied Harbison's claims to the extent he requested the court strike the allegedly unconscionable damages limitation from the warranty. Harbison moved for leave to file a second amended complaint to reiterate his claim that the damages limitation was unconscionable. The District...

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