Castay v. Ochsner Clinic Foundation
ORDER AND REASONS denying 50 Motion to Alter 49 Judgment. Signed by Judge Susie Morgan on 4/4/2014. (tsf)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
ANNE VICTORIA CASTAY,
OCHSNER CLINIC FOUNDATION,
ORDER & REASONS
Before the Court is Plaintiff Victoria Castay's Motion to Alter Judgment.1 The Court
has reviewed that motion, Defendant's opposition, Plaintiff's reply, the record, and the
applicable law, and now issues this Order and Reasons denying the motion.
The procedural history and allegations are set forth at greater length in the Court's
prior Orders and Reasons addressing Defendant Ochsner's two motions for summary
judgment on Plaintiff's FMLA claims.2 Briefly, Castay asserts Ochsner terminated her
shortly after she requested leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to care for
her gravely ill father. The Court first dismissed Castay's FMLA interference claim because
there was no factual dispute that she had not worked the requisite 1250 hours in the twelve
months preceding her termination and did not qualify as an FMLA "eligible employee."3
Ruling on a second motion for summary judgment, the Court dismissed Castay's remaining
FMLA retaliation claim because, at the very least, she failed to offer sufficient evidence to
create a genuine issue of fact that Ochsner's legitimate non-discriminatory reason for
R. Doc. 50.
R. Docs. 29, 48.
R. Doc. 29 at 3-6.
terminating her was pretextual.4 Accordingly, the Court dismissed the case with prejudice.
Now, Plaintiff contends that summary judgment should not have been granted on
the FMLA retaliation claim because she "may have failed to clearly articulate for the Court
the genuine issues of material fact that exist regarding Defendant's true reasons for
terminating Ms. Castay, but they do exist."5
A Rule 59(e) motion calls into question the correctness of a judgment. In re
Transtexas Gas Corp., 303 F.3d 571, 581 (5th Cir. 2002). "A motion to alter or amend the
judgment under Rule 59(e) must clearly establish either a manifest error of law or fact or
must present newly discovered evidence and cannot be used to raise arguments which
could, and should, have been made before the judgment issued. Schiller v. Physicians Res.
Grp., 342 F.3d 563, 567 (5th Cir. 2003) (citations and internal quotations omitted). "Under
Rule 59(e), amending a judgment is appropriate (1) where there has been an intervening
change in the controlling law; (2) where the movant presents newly discovered evidence
that was previously unavailable; or (3) to correct a manifest error of law or fact." Demahy
v. Schwartz Pharma, Inc., 702 F.3d 177, 182 (5th Cir. 2012).
Plaintiff's motion is no more than a second bite at the apple and a belated attempt
to reargue the second summary judgment motion. Rule 59(e) "cannot be used to raise
arguments which could, and should," have been made in opposition to summary judgment.
Although Plaintiff asserts that "summary judgments are based on all the evidence in the
record and are not limited to the verbiage in the parties' briefs,"6 it is well settled that
R. Doc. 48 at 4-5.
R. Doc. 50 at 1.
R. Doc. 58 at 4.
"Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 does not impose upon ... the district court a duty to sift
through the record in search of evidence to support a party's opposition to summary
judgment." Keen v. Miller Envtl. Grp., Inc., 702 F.3d 239, 249 (5th Cir. 2012) (citations
and internal quotations omitted). Plaintiff simply disagrees with the outcome and does not
identify any manifest error of law or fact, or any other basis for altering the judgment.
Thus, relief under Rule 59(e) is not warranted under these circumstances. Accordingly,
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion is DENIED.
New Orleans, Louisiana, this 4th day of April, 2014
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?