Wargaski v. NCI Group, Inc. (Warranty Forum Selection Clause)

In Wargaski v. NCI Group, Inc. (2018AP2014), the Court of Appeals District III found that a warranty’s forum selection clause applied, barring the Wisconsin lawsuit.

Robert Wargaski alleged breach of warranty when NCI Group, Inc. rejected his warranty claim for faded paint on roofing panels Wargaski had purchased. The warranty contained a forum selection clause designating Texas as the venue for any disagreements over the warranty.

NCI sought to dismiss Wargaski’s lawsuit, arguing the case had been filed in the wrong jurisdiction according to the forum selection clause. Wargaski argued the warranty’s forum selection clause was unenforceable because it was procedurally and substantially unconscionable.

The court sided with NCI and dismissed Wargaski’s lawsuit. The forum selection clause was not procedurally unconscionable because the warranty had been conveyed to Wargaski when it was placed in the box of roofing panels he purchased, in accordance with 16 C.F.R. § 700.11(b). The forum selection clause was not substantially unconscionable because NCI’s principal place of business is Texas. The court found that general federal law allowing warranty suits to be filed in “any court of competent jurisdiction in any State” (15 U.S.C. § 2310(d)(1)(A)) did not preclude the more specific forum selection clause in the warranty.