Knudson v. M/V American Spirit et al

Filing 102

ORDER denying 100 Motion for Reconsideration; denying 101 Motion for Certification of Interlocutory Appeal and to stay proceedings pending appeal. Signed by District Judge George Caram Steeh. (MBea)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN SOUTHERN DIVISION JEFFREY TODD KNUDSON, Plaintiff, Case No. 14-14854 vs. HON. GEORGE CARAM STEEH M/V AMERICAN SPIRIT, et al., Defendants. ___________________________________/ ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION [DOC. 100] AND DENYING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR CERTIFICATION OF INTERLOCUTORY APPEAL AND TO STAY PROCEEDINGS PENDING APPEAL [DOC. 101] This matter has come before the court on defendants American Steamship Company’s and Liberty Steamship Company’s motion for reconsideration of the court’s grant of plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration and of its denial of plaintiff’s motion for certification of interlocutory appeal and request for stay [doc. 100] and motion for certification of interlocutory appeal, to amend order to include the required permission to appeal, and to stay proceedings pending appeal [doc. 101]. In its October 24, 2017 Order, the court granted plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration, finding that plaintiff may seek punitive damages for -1- personal injuries in his unseaworthiness claim against defendants. The court declined to certify the issue for interlocutory appeal. [Doc. 99] The court denies both of defendants’ motions. The court will not grant a motion for reconsideration that “merely present[s] the same issues ruled upon by the court, either expressly or by reasonable implication.” E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(h). Defendants have not presented any new issues other than those already ruled on by the court, nor does anything in defendants’ motions persuade the court that it ruled in error on either issue. This case was filed three years ago and extensive discovery and litigation have already taken place. Of course, at trial, the punitive damages issue will require the presentation and consideration of factual and expert testimony. This is no different than what is required for the other issues that will be submitted to the jury. This is simply not a case where an immediate appeal may avoid protracted and expensive litigation. See Krause v. Bd. Of County Rd. Comm’rs, 364 F.2d 919, 922 (6th Cir. 1966). If the Sixth Circuit or United States Supreme Court ultimately determine that punitive damages are not recoverable on a claim of unseaworthiness, any award of such damages resulting in this case would be overturned. However, the court concludes that the granting of an interlocutory appeal and corresponding stay in this case would not -2- materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation, and is not warranted. Now, therefore, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendants’ motion for reconsideration is DENIED. IT IS HEREBY FURTHER ORDERED that defendants’ motion for certification of interlocutory appeal and to stay proceedings pending appeal is DENIED. It is so ordered. Dated: November 16, 2017 s/George Caram Steeh GEORGE CARAM STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Copies of this Order were served upon attorneys of record on November 16, 2017, by electronic and/or ordinary mail. s/Marcia Beauchemin Deputy Clerk -3-

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