United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AND
GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND COMPLAINT
TO JOIN ADDITIONAL PARTIES AND RELIEF FROM CASE SCHEDULING
S. LASNIK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on defendants' motion to
dismiss for failure to state a claim, (Dkt. #13) and on
plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend their complaint to
join additional parties and for relief from the case
scheduling deadline pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure 15 and 16(e), and LCR 15 and 16(b)(4). Dkt. #26.
For the reasons set forth below, defendants' motion is
DENIED, and plaintiffs' motion is GRANTED.
filed this suit in King County Superior Court alleging that a
defect in a water filtration system manufactured and
distributed by Pentair Filtrations Solutions and various
affiliates and subsidiaries (collectively,
“Pentair”) caused the filter to release water
into the plaintiffs' home, damaging real and personal
property. Dkt. #1-2 at 3. Plaintiffs assert that the filter
was unreasonably dangerous as the result of defective design
and manufacture, that Pentair failed to warn customers of the
product's potential for failure or to provide adequate
instructions on its use, and that the filter violates implied
warranties to Pentair's customers. Dkt. #1-2. Pentair
removed the case on January 30, 2017. Dkt. #1. Plaintiffs
amended their complaint on March 7, 2017, adding factual
allegations and a claim for breach of express warranty. Dkt.
#10. On March 23, 2017, defendants moved to dismiss all
claims against them with prejudice, arguing that the amended
complaint relies on an improper cause of action and fails to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Dkt. #13 at
receiving Pentair's initial disclosures on April 3, 2017,
plaintiffs identified two additional parties involved in the
manufacture and design of the product in question. Dkt. #26
at 3. Plaintiffs then filed this motion to amend their
complaint to join two additional parties: Pentair Residential
Filtration LLC (Omnifilter) and Sta-Rite Industries Inc. Dkt.
#26 at 4. Plaintiffs' proposed second amended complaint
contains no new claims against any of the defendants.
Plaintiffs' motion also requests for relief from the case
scheduling order setting the deadline to join additional
parties as May 12, 2017. Dkt. #25. Pentair opposes
plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend on the grounds that
amendment would be futile for reasons articulated in
Pentair's pending motion to dismiss, and also because
plaintiffs' proposed amended complaint fails to relate
back to their original complaint. Dkt. #28.
Court analyzes Pentair's motion to dismiss and
plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend together because
Pentair's opposition to plaintiffs' motion for leave
to amend tracks the arguments in its pending motion to
dismiss. Therefore the Court will first consider
Pentair's motion to dismiss before turning to
plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend.
Motion to Dismiss
under Rule 12(b)(6) is appropriate if a pleading “does
not allege enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Ebner v. Fresh, Inc.,
838 F.3d 958, 962-63 (9th Cir. 2016) (internal brackets
omitted). The Court accepts “all factual allegations in
the complaint as true and constru[es] them in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party.” Id. at 962.
The inquiry is “a context-specific task that requires
the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense.” Id. at 963 (quoting
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009)).
allege they purchased an Omnifilter® Undersink Water
Filter Model SFM2 for use in their home, that the product
and/or its component parts were designed, manufactured,
constructed and/or assembled by Pentair, and that the product
failed due to interior fractures in the filter's housing,
releasing water that damaged real and personal property. Dkt.
#10 at 2, ¶2.2-2.5. Relying on Braden v. Tornier,
Inc., No. C09-5529RJB, 2008 WL 3188075, at *3 (W.D.
Wash. Sept. 30, 2009), plaintiffs argue that they have
alleged sufficient non-conclusory facts to state a claim that
is plausible on its face by alleging that they purchased a
specific product from Pentair, that the product failed due to
interior fractures, and that the failure resulted in damages.
Dkt. #23 at 9.
argues that plaintiffs' claims should be dismissed
because they are grounded on a products liability theory, and
as such are preempted by the Washington Products Liability
Act (WPLA). Dkt. #13 at 2. Further, Pentair argues that even
if the Court construes plaintiffs' claim as a strict
liability claim, the complaint offers only “threadbare
recitals” and “conclusory allegations, ”
and also fails to allege the required elements for their
cause of action. Dkt. #24 at 5. Pentair contends that simply
alleging Pentair manufactured the product that failed and
caused damages does not create a plausible
claim. Therefore, Pentair argues that because the
complaint fails to allege specifics about the alleged
defects, how the product was dangerous, or how the warnings
were inaccurate, plaintiffs fail to
adequately plead their products liability claims. Dkt. #24 at