Lanier v. Sizemore, Inc. et al
ORDER granting 60 Motion for Reconsideration the 58 Order on Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Keith Lanier. Signed by District Judge R. Stan Baker on 7/14/22. (wwp)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
CIVIL ACTION NO.: 6:18-cv-3
Presently before the Court is Plaintiff Keith Lanier’s Motion for Reconsideration.
(Doc. 60.) By this Motion, Plaintiff, who is proceeding pro se, requests the Court reverse its
grant of summary judgment to Defendant Sizemore, Inc., on all claims asserted by Plaintiff,
For the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s Motion for
Reconsideration. (Doc. 60.)
Plaintiff, an African American male in his fifties, filed this action against Defendant
Sizemore, Inc., his former employer, based on the racial and age-based discrimination he
claimed to have suffered when Defendant terminated his employment. (Docs. 1, 21.) At the
time of his termination, Plaintiff had been assigned by Defendant to work as a security officer at
a medical center, where his primary duty was to guard patients who were considered especially
at risk for harming themselves or others. (See doc. 52-1.) Plaintiff was terminated after a highrisk patient escaped when Plaintiff, in violation of policy, left the patient alone for some period
of time. (Id.; see also doc. 58, p. 2.) Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment as to
Plaintiff’s claims, which he asserted pursuant to Title VII 1 and the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act (“ADEA”). (Doc. 52.) After reviewing the evidence presented to it, the Court
determined that the sole potential comparator proffered by Plaintiff (a white female in her
thirties) did not qualify as a “similarly situated individual” because (1) there were material
differences between the escape incident that Plaintiff was involved in and the escape incident
that the proffered comparator was involved in (namely, that in the latter situation the proffered
comparator had not left her patient unattended), and (2) Plaintiff and the proffered comparator
had materially different disciplinary histories. (Doc. 58, pp. 7–11.) Accordingly, the Court
explained, Plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination under either Title VII
or the ADEA, and Defendant was thus entitled to summary judgment on both claims. (Id. at pp.
11–12.) After granting the Motion for Summary Judgment, the Court closed the case. (Doc. 59.)
Roughly two weeks later, Plaintiff filed the at-issue Motion for Reconsideration. (Doc. 60.)
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has stated that a motion for reconsideration falls
within the purview of either Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) or 60(b). Region 8 Forest
Serv. Timber Purchasers Council v. Alcock, 993 F.2d 800, 806 n. 5 (11th Cir. 1993). Under
Rule 59(e), “the only grounds for granting a [plaintiff’s] motion are newly-discovered evidence
or manifest error of law or fact.” Jacobs v. Tempur-Pedic Int’l, Inc., 626 F.3d 1327, 1344 (11th
Cir. 2010). Rule 60(b), on the other hand, enumerates a limited set of circumstances in which a
party may seek relief from a final judgment, order, or proceeding: “(1) mistake or neglect; (2)
newly discovered evidence; (3) fraud; (4) the judgment is void; or, (5) the judgment has been
satisfied[.]” Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(1)–(5). The rule also contains a “catchall” provision which
After reviewing Plaintiff’s EEOC charge, the Court determined that Plaintiff could proceed under Title
VII only on the grounds of race discrimination. (Doc. 58, pp. 6–7.)
authorizes relief based on “any other reason that justifies [it].”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6).
However, relief under Rule 60(b)(6) is an “extraordinary remedy which may be invoked only
upon a showing of exceptional circumstances,” and a party seeking relief must show that absent
such relief, extreme and unexpected hardship will result. Griffin v. Swim-Tech Corp., 722 F.2d
677, 680 (11th Cir. 1984) (citation omitted). Finally, regardless of which rule applies, motions
for reconsideration cannot be used to relitigate issues which have already been found lacking.
Wilchombe v. TeeVee Toons, Inc., 555 F.3d 949, 957 (11th Cir. 2009).
While Plaintiff has not indicated which rule or rules he believes support his motion, the
distinction is immaterial in this case. Plaintiff has not shown—and does not argue—that new
evidence, mistake or neglect, manifest error, or exceptional circumstances entitle him to relief.
Moreover, Plaintiff does not claim he will suffer “extreme hardship” should his request be
denied. See, e.g., Griffin, 722 F.2d at 680. In his Motion for Reconsideration, Plaintiff merely
reiterates many of the facts already acknowledged by the Court in its Order and calls the Court’s
attention to various areas of testimony he claims he provided during his deposition. (Doc. 60,
pp. 1–2.) He attempts to justify his decision to leave the patient unattended (though, notably, he
does not dispute that it was a violation of policy for him to do so) and he also argues that,
contrary to the Court’s determination, he and his proffered comparator were sufficiently
“similarly situated,” though he offers no basis for this argument other than the general fact that
both of them were assigned to patients who escaped. None of these descriptions or arguments
provides a legitimate reason for the Court to undertake the drastic measure of reconsidering or
changing the determinations it reached in its Order.
Absent a legal basis or evidence to support revisiting previously-decided issues, the Court
discerns no reason to alter its prior decision. Accordingly, the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s Motion
for Reconsideration, (doc. 60). The Court’s previous Order granting Defendant’s Motion for
Summary Judgment, (doc. 58), remains the Order of the Court, and this case REMAINS
CLOSED, (see doc. 59).
SO ORDERED, this 14th day of July, 2022.
R. STAN BAKER
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
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