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Cranston v. New England Fiberglass Inc.

Superior Court of Maine, Cumberland

May 9, 2017

RICHARD E. CRANSTON, Plaintiff
v.
NEW ENGLAND FIBERGLASS, INC. and JOSEPH DAVID HOAR,

          ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

          Nancy Mills Justice, Superior Court.

         Before the court is defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint. For the following reasons, the motion is denied. I.

         Background

         According to plaintiff Richard Cranston's Complaint, plaintiff owns a 1989 Pursuit Cuddy 2000 outboard motorboat. In September 2014, plaintiff brought the boat to defendant New England Fiberglass, Inc. (NEF) for repairs. There, plaintiff spoke with defendant Hoar. Plaintiff contends that defendant Hoar told plaintiff that for $1, 500.00, defendant Hoar would "perform cosmetic repairs to the entire hull, filling every visible hole, scratch and ding, wax and polish the boat and otherwise put the Boat in excellent cosmetic condition." (Pl.'s Compl. ¶ 6). Plaintiff alleges that he authorized that work, as well as repair to the Boat's forward hatch, bow pulpit, rod holders, battery boxes, and bow eye. In December 2014, plaintiff alleges that he received an invoice from NEF for $10, 480.00. The work had not been completed. Plaintiff paid the full amount of the invoice.

         In January 2015, NEF closed its doors and defendant Hoar ceased repairing the boat. Defendant Hoar moved the boat to his new employer, Portland Yacht Services, and abandoned it outside. Plaintiff complains that defendants never performed the contracted for work and that the boat filled with water and leaves and became moldy and dirty. Plaintiff attests that the defendants caused damage to the steering cable, the hatch, and the forward deck hatch.

         In his complaint, plaintiff pleads a breach of contract by defendant NEF, a violation of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act by both defendants, personal liability on the part of defendant Hoar for defendant NEF's actions, and fraud on the part of defendant Hoar. Defendants move to dismiss plaintiff's complaint.

         II. Standard of Review

         On review of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the court accepts the facts alleged in plaintiffs' complaint as admitted. Saunders v. Tisher, 2006 ME 94, ¶ 8, 902 A.2d 830. The court "examine[s] the complaint in the light most favorable to plaintiff to determine whether it sets forth elements of a cause of action or alleges facts that would entitle the plaintiff to relief pursuant to some legal theory." Doe v. Graham, 2009 ME 88, ¶ 2, 977 A.2d 391 (quoting Saunders, 2006 ME 94, ¶ 8). "For a court to properly dismiss a claim for failure to state a cause of action, it must appear 'beyond doubt that [the] plaintiff is entitled to no relief under any set of facts that might be proven in support of the claim.'" Dragomir v. Spring Harbor Hosp.. 2009 ME 51, ¶ 15, 970 A.2d 310 (quoting Plimpton v. Gerrard. 668 A.2d 882, 885 (Me. 1995)).

         III. Discussion

         a. Improper Defendant

         Defendants move the court to dismiss plaintiff's complaint for failure to name the proper party and for insufficient service of process. M.R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2), (4), (5). The court has granted plaintiff's motion to amend to add New England Fiberglass Co. as a defendant. The amended complaint will be served pursuant to Rule 5. M.R. Civ. P. 15(a), 5.

         b. Breach of Contract

         Defendant NEF moves the court to dismiss plaintiff's claim for breach of contract for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. M.R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Defendant NEF argues that plaintiff did not plead specifics of the contract sufficient to make out a claim for breach thereof. See Me. Energy Recovery Co. v. United Steel Structures. Inc.. 1999 ME 31, 5 7, 724 A.2d 1248. Plaintiff alleges that the parties agreed NEF would "perform cosmetic repairs to the entire hull, filling every visible hole, scratch and ding, wax and polish the boat and otherwise put the boat in excellent cosmetic condition" in exchange for $1500. (Pl.'s Compl. ¶ 6). Plaintiff alleges further that he paid $10, 480.00 to defendants, the contracted for work was not completed, the work that was done was of poor quality, and the boat was damaged. Plaintiff has pleaded sufficient facts to survive defendant NEF's motion to dismiss the breach of contract claim.

         c. Maine Unfair ...


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