Mr. Mudbug, Inc. v. Bloomin' Brands, Inc.
ORDER AND REASONS denying 37 Motion for Reconsideration of this Court's Order on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. Signed by Judge Jane Triche Milazzo. (ecm)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
MR. MUDBUG, INC.
BLOOMIN BRANDS, INC.
ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration of this Court’s
Order on Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 37). For the following reasons,
the Motion is DENIED.
Plaintiff Mr. Mudbug, Inc. d/b/a MMI Culinary Services (“MMI”)
manufactures food products such as soups, sauces, and dressings. Defendant
Bloomin Brands, Inc. (“BBI”) operates multiple national and international
restaurant chains including Bonefish Grill, LLC (“Bonefish Grill”).
period of approximately eight years, the parties formed a business relationship
in which Plaintiff produced pre-prepared foods for Defendant. By December of
2014, the business relationship had terminated.
On September 25, 2015, Plaintiff filed a state court petition on open
account against Defendant for the payment of two invoices. Defendant
removed the suit to this Court and asserted a counterclaim against Plaintiff
for breach of contract to supply quality products and ingredients. Plaintiff then
amended its Complaint to add claims for breach of contract, detrimental
reliance, and bad faith.
Thereafter, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff’s claims. This Court granted the motion only as to Plaintiff’s bad faith
claims and gave Plaintiff an opportunity to amend its bad faith allegations.
On April 11, 2016, Plaintiff filed its Second Amended Complaint, adding
new allegations of bad faith. Defendant thereafter filed its second Motion to
Dismiss, again asserting that Plaintiff’s allegations were insufficient. In
support of its bad faith claim, Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint added
specific allegations regarding an agreement that it had for the manufacture
and supply of lobster bisque to the Bonefish Grill restaurant chain for a limited
time offer promotion (“LTO Agreement”).
Plaintiff alleged that the LTO
Agreement was intentionally breached in order to prevent losses in light of the
unsuccessful promotion. The LTO Agreement, however, was between Bonefish
Grill and Plaintiff. Bonefish Grill is a subsidiary of Defendant. This Court
held that because Defendant was not a party to the agreement, it could not be
liable for its bad faith breach. In so holding, the Court noted that Plaintiff had
not shown the existence of any of the unique circumstances required to pierce
the corporate veil, and thus Defendant could not be held liable for the acts of
Plaintiff now seeks reconsideration of this holding.
In the instant
Motion for Reconsideration, Plaintiff argues that Defendant and Bonefish Grill
operate as a single business enterprise, thereby causing Defendant to be
responsible for the liability of its subsidiary.
Although styled as a Motion for Reconsideration, such a motion is not
specifically recognized under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. When a
movant seeks review of an order, such as in the present case, courts consider a
motion for reconsideration under Rule 54(b), 59, or 60. 1 Because Rules 59 and
60 only apply to final judgments, a motion to reconsider that challenges an
interlocutory order, as here, is analyzed pursuant to Rule 54(b). 2 Courts in
this District generally analyze motions to reconsider interlocutory orders
under Rule 59(e). 3
A Rule 59(e) motion “[i]s not the proper vehicle for rehashing evidence,
legal theories, or arguments that could have been offered or raised before the
entry of judgment.” 4
Instead, Rule 59(e) serves the narrow purpose of
correcting “‘manifest error[s] of law or fact or . . . presenting newly discovered
evidence.’“ 5 “‘Manifest error’ is one that ‘is plain and indisputable, and that
amounts to a complete disregard of the controlling law.’” 6 In the Fifth Circuit,
altering, amending, or reconsidering a judgment under Rule 59(e) “[i]s an
extraordinary remedy that should be used sparingly.” 7 While district courts
have “considerable discretion in deciding whether to grant or deny a motion to
alter a judgment,” denial is favored. 8
U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass'n v. Verizon Commc'ns Inc., No. 3:10–CV–1842–G, 2012 WL
3034707, at *1 (N.D. Tex. July 25, 2012).
2 Gulf Fleet Tiger Acquisition, LLC v. Thoma–Sea Ship Builders, LLC, Nos. 10–1440,
10–1802, 282 F.R.D. 146, 151–52 (E.D. La. 2012).
3 See Castrillo v. Am. Home Mortg. Servicing, Inc., No. 09–4369, 2010 WL 1424398, at
*4 n.54 (E.D. La. Apr. 5, 2010) (collecting cases); Gulf Fleet, 282 F.R.D. at 152 n.40 (same).
4 Templet v. HydroChem, Inc., 367 F.3d 473, 479 (5th Cir. 2004) (citing Simon v.
United States, 891 F.2d 1154, 1159 (5th Cir. 1990)).
5 Advocare Int’l, LP v. Horizon Labs., Inc., 524 F.3d 679, 691 (5th Cir. 2008) (quoting
Rosenzweig v. Azurix Corp., 332 F.3d 854, 863 (5th Cir. 2003)).
6 Guy v. Crown Equip. Corp., 394 F.3d 320, 325 (5th Cir. 2004) (quoting Venegas–
Hernandez v. Sonolux Records, 370 F.3d 183, 195 (1st Cir. 2004)).
7 Templet, 367 F.3d at 479 (citations omitted).
8 Hale v. Townley, 45 F.3d 914, 921 (5th Cir. 1995).
LAW & ANALYSIS
In its Motion for Reconsideration, Plaintiff argues for the first time that
Defendant BBI and its subsidiary Bonefish Grill are a single business
enterprise and therefore Defendant is liable for Bonefish Grill’s bad faith
breach of the LTO Agreement. Plaintiff does not, however, explain why it
failed to raise such an argument in opposition to Defendant’s Motion to
Motions for reconsideration “cannot be used to raise arguments
which could, and should, have been made before the judgment issued.” 9
Plaintiff’s Motion does not identify any newly discovered evidence nor a
manifest error of law committed by this Court.
Rather, it espouses an
argument that could have been argued in opposition to Defendant’s Motion to
Even if Plaintiff had espoused a single business enterprise argument at
the appropriate time, however, it would have been unsuccessful. Plaintiff’s
Amended Complaint does not allege any facts upon which this Court could
have found a single business enterprise theory viable. Plaintiff’s Motion for
Reconsideration includes facts and exhibits not alleged or presented to this
Court prior to its ruling on Defendant’s Second Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiff
does not argue that this information is newly discovered or that it was
somehow precluded from presenting it earlier.
E.g., Schiller v. Physicians Res. Grp. Inc., 342 F.3d 563, 567 (5th Cir. 2003).
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration is
New Orleans, this 18th day of January, 2017.
JANE TRICHE MILAZZO
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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