O'Connor v. Scottsdale Healthcare Corporation et al

Filing 21

ORDER granting 20 Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration to the limited extent set forth in this order, but Denying all relief requested by Plaintiff. Signed by Judge James A Teilborg on 6/8/12.(DMT)

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1 WO 2 3 4 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 6 7 Kimberly A. O'Connor, Plaintiff, 8 9 10 11 No. CV11-2264-PHX-JAT ORDER v. Scottsdale Healthcare Corp; et al., Defendants. 12 13 On May 15, 2012, the Court granted Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s 14 Complaint. (Doc. 18.) The Court dismissed Plaintiff’s claim under the Americans with 15 Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) for lack of jurisdiction and dismissed the remaining state 16 law claims without prejudice. 17 Reconsideration and to Set Aside the Judgment, along with an accompanying 18 Declaration. (Doc. 20.) On May 29, 2012, Plaintiff filed a Motion for 19 Plaintiff moves pursuant to Local Rule of Civil Procedure 7.2(g)(1) for the Court 20 to reconsider its May 15 Order and moves pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 21 59(e) and 60(b)(1) for the Court to set aside the judgment entered the same date. 22 Generally, motions for reconsideration are appropriate only if: 1) the movant presents 23 newly discovered evidence; 2) the Court committed clear error or the initial decision was 24 manifestly unjust; or 3) an intervening change in controlling law has occurred. School 25 Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah County, Oregon v. AcandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 26 1993). A party should not file a motion to reconsider to ask a court “to rethink what the 27 court had already thought through, rightly or wrongly.” Above the Belt, Inc. v. Mel 28 Bohannon Roofing, Inc., 99 F.R.D. 99, 101 (E.D. Va. 1983). “No motion for 1 reconsideration shall repeat in any manner any oral or written argument made in support 2 of or in opposition to the original motion.” 3 Contractors, Inc., 215 F.R.D. 581, 586 (D. Ariz. 2003); see also L.R.Civ.P. 7.2(g)(1). 4 The Court ordinarily will deny a “motion for reconsideration of an Order absent a 5 showing of manifest error or a showing of new facts or legal authority that could not have 6 been brought to its attention earlier with reasonable diligence.” L.R.Civ.P. 7.2(g)(1). 7 Motorola, Inc. v. J.B. Rodgers Mech. Plaintiff does not point to newly discovered facts or argue that a change in 8 controlling legal authority has occurred. Rather, Plaintiff argues that the Court 9 manifestly erred in dismissing her ADA claim for lack of standing. 10 In its May 15 Order, the Court found that Plaintiff lacked Article III standing to 11 pursue a claim for ADA discrimination because the momentary delay she suffered in 12 gaining access to the hospital with Peaches, her service dog, did not constitute a denial of 13 public accommodations. The Court relied in part on Skaff v. Meridien N. Am. Beverly 14 Hills, LLC, 506 F.3d 832 (9th Cir. 2007) in reaching its decision. 15 Plaintiff confirms in her Declaration accompanying the Motion for 16 Reconsideration that her interaction with the security guard and, later, his supervisor, 17 caused her only a forty-minute delay in reaching her mother’s hospital room with 18 Peaches. (Doc. 20-1 ¶14.) Plaintiff does not cite to any cases holding that a forty-minute 19 delay in access constitutes a constructive denial of public accommodation. And she 20 attempts to distinguish Skaff because the plaintiff in that case had a physical, rather than a 21 mental, disability, but the Court finds no reason to distinguish Skaff on that basis. 22 Basically, Plaintiff would like the Court to re-think its earlier analysis. Because 23 Plaintiff does not argue a change in controlling precedent and because the Court finds 24 that it did manifestly err in holding that Plaintiff lacked Article III standing to bring a 25 claim that she was denied public accommodation, the Court will not reconsider that 26 holding. 27 In addition to finding that Plaintiff’s momentary delay in reaching her mother’s 28 hospital room with Peaches did not constitute a denial of public accommodation, the -2- 1 Court found that, even if the brief delay somehow did constitute a denial of 2 accommodation, Plaintiff did not have standing to sue for injunctive relief. To establish 3 standing to pursue injunctive relief, Plaintiff must demonstrate a “real and immediate 4 threat of repeated injury” in the future. Chapman v. Pier 1 (U.S.) Inc.¸ 631 F.3d 939, 946 5 (9th Cir. 2011)(internal citations omitted). And it is the reality of the threat of repeated 6 injury that is relevant to standing, not Plaintiff’s subjective apprehensions. City of Los 7 Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 107 n.8 (1983). 8 Plaintiff argues that the Court incorrectly read facts into her Complaint when the 9 Court reached its conclusion regarding her standing to sue for injunctive relief based on a 10 real and immediate threat of repeated injury. The Court will grant Plaintiff’s Motion for 11 Reconsideration to the limited extent necessary to correct the Court’s earlier mistaken 12 assumptions. 13 In its May 15 Order, the Court stated, “According to her own Complaint, Plaintiff 14 returned to the hospital without incident on several occasions during the days after the 15 encounter with the security guard. She never had another issue. Any subjective fears 16 about returning to the hospital are belied by the objective reality. 17 unsubstantiated, subjective fear that she might, at some point in the future, have another 18 problem bringing Peaches to Defendant hospital does not confer standing to pursue 19 injunctive relief.” (Doc. pp. 7-8.) Plaintiff correctly points out that while the Complaint 20 alleges she returned to the hospital on several occasions to visit her mother after the 21 incident with the security guard, the Complaint does not allege that Plaintiff brought 22 Peaches with her on those subsequent visits. 23 Plaintiff brought Peaches with her on her return visits to the hospital based on a mistaken 24 assumption that Plaintiff needed and therefore always brought Peaches with her when 25 visiting public accommodations. To the extent the May 15 Order indicates that Plaintiff 26 brought Peaches with her to the hospital several times after the security-guard incident 27 without problem, the Court hereby corrects that mistake. 28 Plaintiff’s The Court incorrectly presumed that But Plaintiff admits in her Declaration that she did return to the hospital with -3- 1 Peaches for a brief visit, after the incident with the security guard, without encountering a 2 problem. (Doc. 20-1 ¶16.) The Court would not have reached a different conclusion 3 regarding Plaintiff’s standing to pursue injunctive relief if the Court had known that 4 Plaintiff brought Peaches with her on only one subsequent visit, versus three subsequent 5 visits. Plaintiff’s ability, after the incident with the security guard, to enter the hospital 6 without being asked to register Peaches belies her subjective fears that she will again 7 encounter a problem with bringing Peaches to the hospital. 8 Moreover, the Court’s holding regarding Plaintiff’s standing to pursue injunctive 9 relief was in addition to the Court’s holding that Plaintiff did not suffer an injury 10 sufficient to confer Article III standing to pursue an ADA discrimination claim. Even if 11 the Court had found that Plaintiff sufficiently alleged a real and immediate threat that she 12 would again be asked to register Peaches before entering the hospital, the Court still 13 would have held that Plaintiff lacked standing to pursue her ADA claim because the 14 forty-minute delay she experienced in reaching her mother’s room with Peaches did not 15 constitute a denial of public accommodation. The Court would have dismissed Plaintiff’s 16 ADA claim for lack of jurisdiction on that basis alone. The Court therefore will not 17 reverse its earlier grant of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and will not set aside the 18 subsequent judgment for Defendants. 19 Accordingly, 20 IT IS ORDERED Granting Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. 20) to 21 22 the limited extent set forth above, but Denying all relief requested by Plaintiff. Dated this 8th day of June, 2012. 23 24 25 26 27 28 -4-

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