Maryland Glass Business Files Lawsuit Against Machinery Supplier

A Maryland-based glass shop has sued a Florida-based machinery supplier for at least $1.5 million on multiple counts of breach of contract and fraud regarding a glass tempering oven and washer transaction. The vendor is seeking dismissal of the case, chalking it up to “buyer’s remorse” and calling the shop’s claims “imaginary” and “absurd,” according to court documents.

In a complaint filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court in early June, Sterling Mirror Company sued Jordon Glass Corporation, Jordon Glass Machinery and company president Ricardo Dominguez. Sterling, which does business as Sterling Mirror and Glass, is located in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan area.

In May 2015, Sterling and Jordon executed a contract for a tempering furnace and washer machine, which were delivered in March and June of 2016, respectively, and were being installed by August of that year. Since then, Sterling alleges the machinery has failed to produce “commercially acceptable glass,” and that visits from technicians of both Jordon and the Chinese machine manufacturer, Gangxin, have failed to resolve the issue, namely scratches on the glass.

Sterling alleges other instances of breach of contract and fraud in the complaint, claiming that issues with the machinery have led to “a significant loss of time and hours expended by its employees, great expenses incurred and a substantial loss in profits.”

Jordon has since filed a motion to dismiss, which lays out some if its legal defenses, and Dominguez tells USGNN.com™ that allegations will be addressed further and in greater detail in subsequent filings. “As for the allegations regarding the blemishes,” he says, “we addressed the customer concerns during an onsite visit with engineers from the manufacturer. Tests were performed and the tempered glass exited without scratches.” He adds that “even the original blemishes complained of by the customer were well within the acceptable criteria defined in ASTM C 1036-16, which addresses standards for blemishes on heat-treated glass.”

Sterling says the glass produced doesn’t meet ASTM C1048 – 12, the Standard Specification for Heat-Strengthened and Fully Tempered Flat Glass. [Editor’s note: ASTM C1036 – 16 is the Standard Specification for Flat Glass.]

According to Sterling, the scratches are being caused by the insulation of the machine shedding fibers, which are landing on the ceramic rollers and scratching the glass as it passes through. Sterling says a representative of the manufacturer of the rollers visited the shop and confirmed this. It adds that efforts to correct the issue, including the replacement of the side board insulation material and the application of a rigidizer to the upper interior panels, didn’t correct the issue.

Sterling declined to comment further on the case but refers to the original complaint for details. It is expected to file a response to Jordon’s motion.

In Jordon’s motion seeking to dismiss the case, filed in mid-July, the company contends that the oven was producing glass that meets the ANSI Z97.1 standard, and that “Contrary to the allegations in the Complaint, the Furnace Contract is devoid of any term or condition that the tempered glass would be scratch-free.” Jordon also says that the contract requires a jointly decided-upon third party to determine whether the furnace is defective before bringing a suit, which it says hadn’t happened prior to the complaint. Additionally, Jordon says the machine’s limited warranty isn’t actually in effect because Sterling has failed to complete payment of the full purchase price.

Also in the complaint, Sterling alleges it was misled regarding the machinery it was purchasing. In 2014, Sterling says it visited a Jordon customer in Florida to gauge that customer’s satisfaction with machinery it was considering purchasing. Sterling claims it was unaware that when it entered into a contract to purchase the Gangxin tempering furnace, it was not from the same manufacturer as the one it saw at the facility in Florida. Sterling also alleges the furnace it purchased was the first Gangxin furnace Jordon had sold, which was not communicated to Sterling.

In its response, Jordon points out that the contract “clearly and unequivocally” names Gangxin as the manufacturer of the machine. It also dismisses Sterling’s accusations that Jordon misrepresented details and specifications regarding the washer it purchased.

“We strongly disagree with the factual allegations made by Sterling Mirror,” Dominguez says. “We are confident in our products and confident that we will prevail on the merits of the case.”

Read the full complaint here.

Read the full motion to dismiss here.

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