Danganan v. Guardian Protection Services

Danganan v. Guardian Protection Services

Plaintiff Jobe Danganan hired Guardian Protection Services to provide home security for his residence in Washington D.C.  In the middle of his contract with Guardian Mr. Danganan had to move to California for work and notified Guardian that he wanted to terminate his services with them.  Guardian refused to terminate his contract and continued to charge Mr. Danganan for services he never received, Mr. Danganan filed suit.

As a result of his contract having a choice of law clause and Guardian being HQ’d in PA as such Pennsylvania law was used to file suit.  While the UTPCPL prohibits unfair trade practices for Pennsylvania residents, Guardian claimed that since Mr. Danganan’s service was provided for in Washington D.C. and now lived in California, he was unable to sue them under the UTPCPL.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court:
After appealing to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Guardian was informed on February 21, 2018, by a unanimous decision written by Chief Justice Saylor, that the UTPCPL has “no geographical limitation or residency requirement” in the UTPCPL’s text.  Further quoting the PA Supreme Court’s Opinion “Accordingly, in response to the first certified question, we hold that a non-Pennsylvania resident may bring suit under the UTPCPL against a Commonwealth headquartered business based on transactions that occurred out-of-state. We further conclude that our answer to the first issue eliminates the predicate to the second question certified for review. The matter is returned to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.”

Third Circuit Court of Appeals:
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals decided on August 6, 2018 to agree with the conclusions made by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, reversing the decision of the District Court and remanding the case for further proceedings.  To quote, “Because that court concluded, contrary to the District Court, that the UTPCPL may provide a cause of action to non-residents in circumstances like those alleged by Danganan, we will reverse the decision of the District Court dismissing his complaint and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion and the decision of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.”

Case Documents:
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Opinion  February 22, 2018

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion  August 6, 2018