Gill v. Petroleum Coordinators Inc et al
MEMORANDUM RULING denying 55 Motion for Reconsideration re 49 MEMORANDUM RULING re 24 Motion for Summary Judgment and 26 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Magistrate Judge Patrick J Hanna on 10/11/2016. (crt,Williams, L)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DIVISION OF LOUISIANA
CIVIL ACTION NO. 6:14-CV-02869
MAGISTRATE JUDGE HANNA
INC. AND XYZ INSURANCE
BY CONSENT OF THE PARTIES
Currently pending is the plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration (Rec. Doc. 55),
under Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e), of this Court’s ruling on the parties’ cross-motions for
summary judgment (Rec. Doc. 49). The motion is opposed, and oral argument is
scheduled for November 22, 2016. Considering the evidence, the law, and the
arguments of the parties, and for the reasons fully explained below, the motion is
The plaintiff, Jared Gill, alleged in his complaint that his employer, defendant
Petroleum Co Coordinators, Inc. (“PCI”), violated the Uniformed Services
Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (“USERRA”), 38 U.S. C. § 4301
et seq., and certain relevant Louisiana state laws by failing to promptly reemploy him
when he returned from active military service. Mr. Gill and PCI both filed motions
for summary judgment. On August 31, 2016, this Court ruled on those motions (Rec.
Docs. 49, 50), granting them in part and denying them in part. Mr. Gill now seeks
reconsideration of that ruling with regard to his alleged claim for willful
discrimination under 38 U.S.C. § 4311 and his alleged claims for compensatory and
LAW AND ANALYSIS
“[T]he Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not recognize a general motion for
reconsideration.”1 For that reason, Mr. Gill brought his motion for reconsideration
under Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e), arguing that this Court’s prior ruling was incorrect and
that reconsideration of the ruling is necessary to prevent manifest injustice. “A Rule
59(e) motion calls into question the correctness of a judgment.”2 Amending a
judgment under Rule 59(e) “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.”3 Thus, Rule 59(e) motions “serve the narrow purpose of allowing a party to
correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.”4 But
St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co. v. Fair Grounds Corp., 123 F.3d 336, 339 (5th Cir. 1997).
In re Transtexas Gas Corp., 303 F.3d 571, 581 (5th Cir. 2002).
Demahy v. Schwarz Pharma, Inc., 702 F.3d 177, 182 (5th Cir. 2012).
Waltman v. Int'l Paper Co., 875 F.2d 468, 473 (5th Cir. 1989) (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted).
Rule 59(e) is “not the proper vehicle for rehashing evidence, legal theories, or
arguments that could have been offered or raised before entry of judgment,”5 and it
“should not be used to. . . re-urge matters that have already been advanced by a
party.”6 Reconsideration of a previous order is “an extraordinary remedy that should
be used sparingly.”7 Before filing a Rule 59(e) motion, a party “should evaluate
whether what may seem to be a clear error of law is in fact simply a point of
disagreement with the Court.”8 Although a district court has considerable discretion
in deciding whether to grant or deny a motion to alter a judgment,9 the denial of such
motions is favored.10
In this case, Mr. Gill does not argue that there has been a change in the
controlling law nor does he present any new evidence. Instead, he makes the same
arguments that he made in support of his motion for summary judgment and in
Templet v. Hydrochem, Inc., 367 F.3d 473, 478 (5th Cir. 2004). See, also, Simon v.
United States, 891 F.2d 1154, 1159 (5th Cir. 1990).
Nationalist Movement v. Town of Jena, 321 Fed. App’x 359, 364 (5th Cir. 2009).
Templet v. Hydrochem, Inc., 367 F.3d at 479.
Atkins v. Marathon LeTourneau Co., 130 F.R.D. 625, 626 (S.D. Miss. 1990).
Hale v. Townley, 45 F.3d 914, 921 (5th Cir. 1995); Edward H. Bohlin Co., Inc. v.
Banning Co., Inc., 6 F.3d 350, 355 (5th Cir. 1993).
Southern Constructors Group, Inc. v. Dynalectric Co., 2 F.3d 606, 611 (5th Cir. 1993).
opposition to the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, and he relies upon the
same law and the same factual evidence in support of those arguments.
Mr. Gill contends that permitting this Court’s prior ruling to stand would result
in manifest injustice. The Fifth Circuit has described manifest justice as an elusive
concept.11 Indeed, there is no general definition of manifest injustice; therefore, a
case-by-case analysis must be made, based on equitable considerations.12 “What is
clear from case law, and from a natural reading of the term itself, is that a showing
of manifest injustice requires that there exist a fundamental flaw in the court's
decision that without correction would lead to a result that is both inequitable and not
in line with applicable policy.”13 Mr. Gill has not identified such a flaw in this
Court’s prior ruling; to the contrary, he has simply explained why he disagrees with
the ruling. That is an insufficient basis for amending a judgment. Therefore, this
Court finds that Mr. Gill has failed to establish that it would be manifestly unjust to
allow this Court’s prior ruling to stand. Accordingly,
Douglass v. United Services Auto. Ass'n, 79 F.3d 1415, 1424 (5th Cir. 1996),
superseded by statute on other grounds as stated in Lampkin v. Bank of America, N.A., 644 Fed.
App’x 366, 267 (5th Cir. 2016).
Jones v. Stephens, 998 F.Supp.2d 529, 536 (N.D. Tex. 2014); Alvarado v. Texas
Rangers, No. EP-03-CA-0305-FM, 2005 WL 1420846, at *3 (W.D. Tex. June 14, 2005).
Alvarado v. Texas Rangers, 2005 WL 1420846, at *3 (quoting In re Bunting Bearings
Corp., 321 B.R. 420 (Bankr. N.D. Oh. 2004)).
IT IS ORDERED that the plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration (Rec. Doc. 55)
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that oral argument on the motion for
reconsideration, which was previously scheduled for November 22, 2016, is
Signed at Lafayette, Louisiana on this 11th day of October 2016.
PATRICK J. HANNA
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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