Jones et al v. Lubrizol Advanced Materials, Inc. et al
Opinion and Order: The Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART Plaintiffs' motion for partial reconsideration (ECF No. 46 ). Judge J. Philip Calabrese on 10/6/2021. (Y,A)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
KEVIN JONES, et al.,
MATERIALS, INC., et al.,
Case No. 1:20-cv-00511
Judge J. Philip Calabrese
William H. Baughman, Jr.
OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiffs Kevin and Janet Jones of Arizona and Douglas Cochrane of
Massachusetts seek partial reconsideration of the Court’s ruling granting in part and
denying in part Defendants’ motions to dismiss.
Although the rules do not formally provide for reconsideration, the reasons for
altering or amending a judgment under Rule 59 or for obtaining relief from a
judgment under Rule 60 generally delineate the circumstances under which a court
will grant reconsideration. This is so even though, strictly speaking, “any order or
other decision . . . that adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and
liabilities of fewer than all the parties does not end the action . . . and may be revisited
at any time before the entry of judgment[.]” Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b).
Justifying reconsideration requires a moving party to: (1) demonstrate an
intervening change in the controlling law; (2) establish that new evidence is available;
or (3) prove that a clear error occurred or reconsideration is necessary to prevent
manifest injustice. See Louisville/Jefferson Cnty. Metro. Gov’t v. Hotels.com, L.P.,
590 F.3d 381, 389 (6th Cir. 2009). A district court retains discretion to entertain such
a motion. Rodriguez v. Tennessee Laborers Health & Welfare Fund, 89 F. App’x 949,
959 n.7 (6th Cir. 2004).
The Joneses argue that the Court committed a clear error of law in dismissing
their tort claims pursuant to Arizona’s economic loss doctrine. Simply, Plaintiffs
contend that the doctrine does not bar their tort claims at all because they do not seek
damages for purely economic loss. In any event, Plaintiffs maintain that the doctrine
does not bar their tort claims against Lubrizol, with which they had no contractual
relationship. At bottom, Plaintiffs seek to relitigate an issue the Court took up and
considered over many months with the benefit of briefing from counsel.
reexamination of the authorities on which Plaintiffs rely and the arguments they
make (again) based on them, the Court adheres to its prior interpretation of the
economic loss rule under Arizona law and reaches the same conclusion.
Similarly, Mr. Cochrane argues that the Court clearly erred because
Massachusetts cases do not apply the economic loss doctrine where the components
of a home cause damage to real property. Aside from the fact that Plaintiff could have
made this argument in opposing Defendants’ motions to dismiss, but chose not to do
so, the authorities on which Plaintiff relies do not create the categorical rule claimed.
See, e.g., Adams v. Whitman, No. 01-1989B, 2007 WL 2706148, at *4, 2007 Mass.
Super. LEXIS 332, at *11 (Mass. Super. Aug. 16, 2007) (applying economic loss
doctrine where the components of a home caused property damage). In making this
argument, he also suggests that his consolidated amended complaint does not support
construing the product at issue as his home—implying that Mr. Cochrane contracted
for installation of FlowGuard Gold plumbing instead. No pleaded fact, however,
supports such an inference. To the contrary, the first amended complaint alleges
“Cochrane’s FlowGuard Gold pipes and fittings were . . . installed in Cochrane’s home
during the 2008 construction of the home, which Cochrane contracted to have built.”
(ECF No. 1, ¶ 34, PageID #188.) Absent some factual basis in the consolidated
amended complaint, Plaintiff’s criticism of the Court’s ruling on this point depends
on liberally construing the allegations in his favor to the point of implausibility.
Additionally, Plaintiff argues that he alleges damage to property other than
his house, namely furnishings damaged when his pipes ruptured. In this respect,
Plaintiff is correct. In the consolidated amended complaint, Mr. Cochrane alleges
that defective FlowGuard Gold pipes “caused damage to his ceiling tiles, trim, carpet
and furniture.” (ECF No. 17, ¶ 35, PageID #188.) Massachusetts law limits recovery
in tort under the economic loss doctrine to damages to property other than the product
itself. Lubrizol concedes as much. (ECF No. 36, PageID #738–39.) Charlotte Pipe
argues that “Cochrane only alleges damage to his home” (ECF No. 38, PageID #801),
but the consolidated amended complaint says otherwise.
Because Mr. Cochrane
alleges damages to property other than the product at issue, his claims for negligence
(Count I) and negligent failure to warn (Count II) may proceed.
For all the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN
PART Plaintiffs’ motion for partial reconsideration. (ECF No. 46.) Accordingly, the
Court updates its summary table to reflect the disposition of the claims asserted in
the consolidated amended complaint:
failure to warn
Breach of express
Breach of implied
Violation of WA
Violation of AZ
Violation of WA
Violation of MI
Given the considerable time the Court has already spent at the pleading stage
in this case, it is difficult to conceive of a circumstance in which the Court would
exercise its discretion to consider another motion for reconsideration from any party.
Dated: October 6, 2021
J. Philip Calabrese
United States District Judge
Northern District of Ohio
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?