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Fowler v. Goodman Manufacturing Co. Lp

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division

December 12, 2014

MARK FOWLER, Plaintiff,


R. DAVID PROCTOR, District Judge.

This matter is before the court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Class Action Complaint ("FAC"). (Doc. # 32).The Motion has been fully briefed. (Docs. # 33, 37, and 43).For the reasons discussed below, the court concludes the motion is due to be granted.

I. Background

Plaintiff purchased his house in May 2009. (Doc. # 28 at & 73).After reviewing product literature and marketing materials contained on Defendants' website, he had a Goodman HVAC Unit installed in his home that he purchased from Buckner Plumbing & Heating Co., Inc. ("Buckner Plumbing"), an authorized dealer and warranty servicer for Goodman HVAC Units. (Doc. # 28 at && 10, 73-74).The cost of the HVAC Unit was approximately $3, 800. (Doc. # 28 at & 74).

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants' website and/or marketing materials contained the following statements:

• LEGENDARY Goodman Quality
• Refreshingly Affordable Home Comfort
• The Goodman brand has a central air conditioning system that is perfect for your home - at a refreshingly affordable price. Even on the hottest days of the year, you can keep your home cool and comfortable while enjoying low energy costs with a high efficiency Goodman brand air conditioner. Don't choose between affordability, durability, and optimum cooling comfort. Install a Goodman brand air conditioner and get all three - and what we believe to be the best warranty protection in the heating and cooling industry.
• Building our products to Harold's standards, and protecting those products with some of the best limited warranties in the industry, has helped to make the Goodman brand widely recognized as a leading brand in the residential and light commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry today.
• Commitment to Quality Engineering Always in pursuit of the highest performance and efficiency, our engineers are constantly evaluating the latest and most reliable technology and applying it to every Goodman brand air conditioner.
• You've taken care to select reliable, long-lasting heating and cooling equipment for your household. Take that attention to quality one step farther by choosing a Goodman® brand evaporator coil or air handler for your system. Goodman brand evaporator coils and air handlers help ensure that your heating and cooling system will provide your family with reliable, efficient comfort for years to come.
• Enjoy the comfort of A Goodman Brand Air Conditioner Beat the summer heat with a Goodman brand DSXC18 R-410A Air Conditioner - a unit that provides you with high efficiency, reliable performance and quiet operation.
• We've been building quality Goodman brand air conditioning and heating equipment since 1982. Given our decades of experience in the heating and cooling business, our customers can be assured that Goodman brand air conditioning and heating systems meet the highest industry standards and are installed by some of the best and most experienced professionals in the industry.
• When you choose the Goodman brand, you can rest assured that you'll receive a refreshingly affordable product that's covered by what many consider to be the best product warranties in the heating and cooling industry.

(Doc. # 28 at pp. 16-18).[1]

In the spring of 2010, within the first year of use, the Plaintiff's Unit experienced a leak which caused it to fail to produce cool air. (Doc. # 28 at && 10, 75).Buckner Plumbing refilled it with refrigerant (Freon) at no charge to Plaintiff, but did not replace the coil. (Doc. # 28 at && 10, 75).

In June 2011, Plaintiff's Unit failed again.Buckner Plumbing again recharged the Unit with new refrigerant, charging Plaintiff $200 for that service. (Doc. # 28 at && 10, 76).

In 2013, Plaintiff's Unit failed again, and again Plaintiff contacted Buckner Plumbing. Buckner Plumbing removed and replaced the "inside" evaporator coil in Plaintiff's HVAC Unit, and recharged the unit (for the third time) with refrigerant. (Doc. # 28 at & 77).Buckner Plumbing charged Plaintiff $600 for this service, and advised Plaintiff that (1) the new evaporator coil was provided without cost under the terms of the Goodman warranty, but (2) Buckner Plumbing's labor costs and the cost to recharge the refrigerant were not included in the warranty. (Doc. # 28 at & 77).

Plaintiff visited the Goodman website and sent an email to Defendants via a link that was provided "questioning why he had to pay $600 for labor and refrigerant after so many failures of his unit when he had a 10-year warranty."(Doc. # 28 at & ...

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