Qanadilo v. URS Corporation et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER that the motion to alter or amend is DENIED as more fully set out in order. Signed by Judge C Lynwood Smith, Jr on 11/2/2016. (AHI)
2016 Nov-02 PM 03:47
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
URS CORPORATION, et al.,
Case No. 5:16-cv-635
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This court entered an order on October 4, 2016, granting defendants’ motions
for judgment on the pleadings and dismissing all of plaintiff’s claims for failure to
exhaust administrative remedies under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
of 1974 (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq.1 The case presently is before the court
on plaintiff’s motion to alter or amend the order of dismissal.2
Plaintiff brings his motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e),
which provides that “[a] motion to alter or amend a judgment must be filed no later
than 28 days after the entry of the judgment.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) (alteration
supplied).3 Motions filed under that provision are commonly referred to as motions
Doc. no. 29 (Memorandum Opinion and Order of Dismissal).
Doc. no. 30.
Plaintiff’s motion was timely, as it was filed on October 18, 2016, only fourteen days after
this court’s order on defendants’ motions for judgment on the pleadings.
for reconsideration. “In the interests of finality and conservation of scarce judicial
resources, reconsideration of an order is an extraordinary remedy and is employed
sparingly.” Gougler v. Sirius Products, Inc., 370 F. Supp. 2d 1185, 1189 (S.D. Ala.
2005). Cf. United States v. Bailey, 288 F. Supp. 2d 1261, 1267 (M.D. Fla. 2003).
“The only grounds for granting [a Rule 59] motion are newly-discovered evidence or
manifest errors of law or fact.” Arthur v. King, 500 F.3d 1335, 1343 (11th Cir. 2007)
(quoting In re Kellogg, 197 F.3d 1116, 1119 (11th Cir. 1999)) (bracketed alteration
in original). See also, e.g., Michael Linet, Inc. v. Village of Wellington, 408 F.3d 757,
763 (11th Cir. 2005) (holding that a Rule 59(e) motion cannot be used to relitigate old
matters, raise arguments, or present evidence that could have been raised or presented
prior to the entry of judgment).
To support his motion, plaintiff presents affidavits from him and his wife,
stating that, “[t]o [their] knowledge,” they “never received a letter or anything else
notifying [them] of an option to appeal or dispute” defendants’ decision to deny
plaintiff’s benefits.4 Those affidavits may not have been created until after this court
dismissed plaintiff’s claims, but they do not constitute newly discovered evidence.
Doc. no. 30-2, at ECF 1 (Affidavit of Linda Qanadilo) (alterations supplied); id. at ECF 2
(Affidavit of Tarif Qanadilo) (alterations supplied). Linda Qanadilo’s affidavit contains what the
court will consider to be a typographical error: “To my knowledge, I, Tarif Qanadilo, never received
a letter or anything else notifying me of an option to appeal or dispute the decision.” Linda Qanadilo
Affidavit, at ECF 1 (emphasis supplied). Because the signature line of the affidavit contains Linda
Qanadilo’s name, the court will overlook the typographical error and assume the affidavit was
executed both by and for Linda Qanadilo.
There is no reason why plaintiff could not have presented those affidavits in response
to defendants’ motions for judgment on the pleadings, especially since plaintiff was
aware that those motions were based in part upon his alleged failure to exhaust
administrative remedies. See Stone v. Wall, 135 F.3d 1438, 1442 (11th Cir. 1998)
(“The purpose of a Rule 59(e) motion is not to raise an argument that was previously
available, but not pressed.”).
Plaintiff also asserts that he could not have received Aetna’s October 4, 2013
letter informing him of the denial of benefits decision and his right to request
administrative review, because the heading of that letter contains only his name, not
his mailing address. It is true that the copy of the letter currently in the record does
not include plaintiff’s mailing address, but defendants assert that the address was
redacted in accordance with this court’s Local Rules in order to protect the privacy
of plaintiff’s personal information.5 There is no reason to doubt that assertion. In
fact, the court surmises that plaintiff would have complained if the letter had been
filed without redaction of his personal information. In any event, plaintiff could have
raised the issue of his failure to receive Aetna’s letter in response to defendants’
motions for judgment on the pleadings, but he did not do so.6 Accordingly, that
See doc. no. 33 (Defendants’ Response to Plaintiff’s Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment
on the Pleadings and Objection to Plaintiff’s Affidavits), at 5-6.
Plaintiff should have been aware of Aetna’s letter, and the redaction of his personal
information, because a redacted copy of the letter was filed as an exhibit to Aetna’s answer. See doc.
argument cannot be raised now to support reconsideration of this court’s order
dismissing plaintiff’s claims.
For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff’s motion to alter or amend is DENIED.
DONE this 2nd day of November, 2016.
United States District Judge
no. 6-5 (October 4, 2013 Letter).
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