United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT IN PART, DENYING THE MOTION IN PART WITHOUT
PREJUDICE, AND GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant SS Industries,
LLC's (“S.S. Industries”) motion for summary
judgment or, in the alternative, transfer venue (Dkt. 12).
The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of
and in opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file
and hereby rules as follows:
October 11, 2017, Plaintiffs David and Paige Stuebe
(“Stuebes”) filed a complaint for personal injury
and product liability against S.S. Industries. Dkt. 1.
24, 2018, S.S. Industries filed instant motion for summary
judgment that the Stuebes' claims are barred by the suit
limitation clause in the parties' contract or, in the
alternative, transfer to Pennsylvania pursuant to the forum
selection clause in the parties' contract. Dkt. 12. On
June 11, 2018, the Stuebes responded. Dkt. 15. On June 15,
2018, S.S. Industries replied. Dkt. 19. On June 27, 2018, the
Stuebes filed a notice of supplemental authority. Dkt. 21.
April 18, 2017, Mr. Stuebe contacted Mylen Stairs and spoke
with Chris Strader, a Mylen sales representative. Dkt. 17,
Declaration of David Stuebe (“Stuebe Decl.”),
¶ 2. Mr. Stuebe contacted Mylen because he was
interested in installing a spiral staircase from his deck to
his backyard. Id. ¶ 2. Over the following week,
Mr. Stuebe and Mr. Strader discussed Mylen products and
particular stair plans for Mr. Stuebe's needs.
Id. ¶¶ 3-12. On April 25, 2017, Mr. Stuebe
notified Mr. Strader by email that he wished to purchase a
particular staircase. Id. ¶¶ 10-11. Mr.
Strader informed Mr. Stuebe that he would be receiving an
email with some documents to sign. Id. ¶ 12. On
April 26, 2017, Mr. Stuebe received an email with a link to
four documents: “a spiral staircase drawing plan, the
Spiral Stair Order Form, the Statement of Understanding, and
a credit card form.” Id. ¶ 14. Although
Mr. Stuebe reviewed some of the order form, he “did not
read the small print at the bottom referencing the separate
(and not provided) Terms and Conditions.” Id.
¶ 17. The Terms and Conditions contained a forum
selection clause and a three-month suit limitation provision.
29, 2017, Mr. Stuebe received his staircase. Id.
¶ 22. On July 5, 2017, Mr. Stuebe was injured while
attempting to install the staircase. Id.
Industries moves for summary judgment that (1) the Terms and
Conditions were properly incorporated into the parties'
agreement, (2) the Stuebes are bound by the Terms and
Conditions, and (3) the suit limitation provision is
enforceable, which bars the Stuebes' untimely claims, or,
in the alternative, the forum selection clause is
enforceable. Dkt. 12. The Stuebes respond that the Terms and
Conditions were not properly incorporated into the
parties' contract or, in the alternative, they are
unconscionable and unreasonable. Dkt. 15 at 5.
judgment is proper only if the pleadings, the discovery and
disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that
there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The moving party is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law when the nonmoving party fails to make a
sufficient showing on an essential element of a claim in the
case on which the nonmoving party has the burden of proof.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).
There is no genuine issue of fact for trial where the record,
taken as a whole, could not lead a rational trier of fact to
find for the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co.
v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986)
(nonmoving party must present specific, significant probative
evidence, not simply “some metaphysical doubt”).
See also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). Conversely, a
genuine dispute over a material fact exists if there is
sufficient evidence supporting the claimed factual dispute,
requiring a judge or jury to resolve the differing versions
of the truth. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 253 (1986); T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac.
Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir.
determination of the existence of a material fact is often a
close question. The Court must consider the substantive
evidentiary burden that the nonmoving party must meet at
trial - e.g., a preponderance of the evidence in most civil
cases. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 254; T.W. Elec.
Serv., Inc., 809 F.2d at 630. The Court must resolve any
factual issues of controversy in favor of the nonmoving party
only when the facts specifically attested by that party
contradict facts specifically attested by the moving party.
The nonmoving party may not merely state that it will
discredit the moving party's evidence at trial, in the
hopes that evidence can be developed at trial to support the
claim. T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc., 809 F.2d at 630
(relying on And ...