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EBMG, LLC v. Cornerstone Interior Woodworking, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

January 29, 2018

EBMG, LLC, Plaintiff,
Cornerstone Interior Woodworking, Inc., Defendant.

          R. Steven Whalen Mag. Judge.



         Pending is defendant Cornerstone Interior Woodworking, Inc.'s motion for summary judgment, seeking summary judgment on all counts. (Dkt. 17.) The motion was filed on November 30, 2017, and plaintiff's response was due on December 21, 2017. E.D. Mich. Local R. 7.1(e)(1)(B). The Court has attempted to reach plaintiff on numerous occasions, and plaintiff's counsel represented to the Court on January 2, 2018 that he would reach out to defense counsel and seek a stipulation extending the time to file plaintiff's response. The Court has received no stipulation, and so will treat the motion as unopposed.

         I. Background

         On April 12, 2016, plaintiff EBMG, LLC filed a complaint alleging that defendant Cornerstone Interior Woodworking, LLC breached a series of contracts regarding five construction projects. (Dkt. 1.) Plaintiff amended that complaint on November 8, 2016, to add defendant Cornerstone Interior Woodworking, Inc. (Dkt. 14.) Defendant Cornerstone Interior Woodworking, Inc. notes that Cornerstone Interior Woodworking, LLC does not appear to exist, and seeks dismissal of that defendant. The Court will dismiss Cornerstone Interior Woodworking, LLC as a defendant.

         The complaint alleges that plaintiff was a subcontractor for defendant on five construction projects between April 2014, and December 2015. Plaintiff was to provide custom countertops and cabinets for projects in Lake Nona (Florida), Music Row (Tennessee), UNCC (North Carolina), Hamilton Trace (Indiana), and Summer Bay (Florida). Plaintiff alleged that defendant owed an outstanding amount of $607, 123.48 from those five projects. Plaintiff asserted claims for (1) breach of contract, (2) open account; (3) quantum meruit; (4) implied contract; and (5) fraudulent misrepresentation.

         Defendant filed a counterclaim, alleging that the products plaintiff delivered for each project were defective, and that it incurred damages of $621, 470.91 after mitigation. (Dkt. 14.) Defendant asserted counterclaims for: (1) breach of contract; (2) breach of warranty; and (3) quantum meruit. On November 30, 2017, defendant filed a motion for summary judgment as to all claims in this case. (Dkt. 17.)

         Under the terms of the contracts between the parties, plaintiff was to be paid a total of $1, 300, 432.47 for the five projects. (Dkt. 17-4 to 17-9.) In March 2015, plaintiff delivered numerous defective cabinets and other goods to defendant for the Lake Nona and UNCC projects after beginning production before defendant was able to provide an approved design. (Dkt. 17 at 12-13.) On March 14 and March 16, 2015, defendant contacted plaintiff to inform plaintiff that the cabinets and countertops were defective and unusable. (Id. at 13; Dkt. 17-12, to 17-14.) Larry Grace, an employee of plaintiff, sent an e-mail on March 18, 2015, informing his employees that the cabinets and countertops provided for these two projects all needed to be rebuilt. (Dkt. 17-15.)

         On June 9, 2015, defendant sent plaintiff invoices for back charges (charges that defendant incurred fixing the issues with the defective items) in the amount of $148, 572.56. (Dkt. 17-18.) On July 9, 2015, defendant notified plaintiff that there were problems with all five projects. (Dkt. 17-16.) Defendant provided plaintiff with invoices for the total cost it incurred in fixing deficiencies at all five projects, which totaled $621, 470.91. (Dkts. 17-19 to 17-23.)

         Of the $1, 300, 432.47 that plaintiff was owed for its work, defendant paid $1, 170, 795.64 directly to plaintiff, and paid $72, 800.00 to one of plaintiff's subcontractors. (Dkts. 17-24, 17-25.) The parties also agreed to reductions in the scope of work for two projects that led to a total reduction of $99, 779.00. (Dkt. 17-27.) Those deductions, combined with the unpaid back charges sent to EBMG, result in EBMG being owed a total of $1, 052, 080.91 for its work, and being paid a total of $1, 243, 595.64, either directly or through a subcontractor.

         Defendant now moves for summary judgment on all counts in the complaint and the counterclaim. The Court determines that oral argument is not required pursuant to E.D. Mich. Local R. 7.1(f)(2).

         II. Legal Standard

         Summary judgment is proper when “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The Court may not grant summary judgment if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The Court “views the evidence, all facts, and any inferences that may be drawn from the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.” Pure Tech Sys., Inc. v. Mt. Hawley Ins. Co., 95 F.Appx. 132, 135 (6th Cir. 2004) (citing Skousen v. Brighton High Sch., 305 F.3d 520, 526 (6th Cir. 2002)).

         Even where a motion for summary judgment is unopposed, “the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure still require the moving party to demonstrate the absence of a disputed question of material fact and a ground that would entitle the moving party to judgment as a matter of ...

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