Multi-State Team Secures Dismissal of Product Defect Claim on Behalf of Surfacing Materials Distributor

December 2023

Tampa Senior Counsel Rob Tucker and Hartford Partner Cullen Guilmartin were recently successful in obtaining an order of dismissal with prejudice on behalf of the firm’s client, a leading nationwide distributor of flooring, countertop, wall tile, and hardscaping products in North America.

The plaintiff purchased flooring products from a local retailer, which were supplied by the client. Almost two years after installation, the plaintiff claimed the flooring product failed due to a manufacturing or product defect that caused buckling, chipping, and separation of over 25 percent of the product. Following the plaintiff’s warranty claim, the client hired a certified inspector to provide an independent opinion on the product warranty claim. The inspector found the product did not fail as claimed by the plaintiff but became damaged due to faulty installation. Notwithstanding this finding, the plaintiff filed her complaint against the client and the retail store.

Tucker filed a motion to dismiss with prejudice due to the inconsistency and conflict between the plaintiff’s complaint and the inspector’s opinion contained in his report, which the plaintiff attached to her complaint. After a two-hour hearing, the court adopted Tucker's argument, granting the motion to dismiss with prejudice, thereby denying the plaintiff’s attempt to obtain leave to file an amended complaint.