The Estate of Claude Stevens et al v. Stewart et al

Filing 49

ORDER denying 29 Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN SOUTHERN DIVISION SHERRY L. VANNORTWICK, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Claude Stevens, deceased, Case No. 17-12507 Plaintiff, Honorable John Corbett O’Meara v. ANTHONY H. STEWERT, et. al., Defendants. / ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION On October 3, 2107, plaintiff Sherry L. Vannortwick, as personal representative of the estate of Claude Stevens, filed a motion for reconsideration of this court's September 19, 2017 order dismissing Count VI, which alleged a cause of action under Michigan's Wrongful Death Act, Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 600.2922. The court ordered Defendants to file a response; and the individual defendants and the State of Michigan defendants filed responses to the motion November 8, 2017. No oral argument was heard. LAW AND ANALYSIS Generally, and without restricting the court's discretion, the court will not grant motions for rehearing or reconsideration that merely present the same issues ruled upon by the court, either expressly or by reasonable implication. The movant must not only demonstrate a palpable defect by which the court and the parties and other persons entitled to be heard on the motion have been misled but also show that correcting the defect will result in a different disposition of the case. L.R. 7.1(h)(3). Michigan's Wrongful Death Act does not create an independent cause of action. Frontier Ins. Co. v. Blaty, 454 F.3d 590 (6th Cir. 2006). The Act is merely a mechanism to provide for a claim to survive the death of the injured party that, at common law, would otherwise have been destroyed upon the death of the injured party. The Frontier court reiterated that "the Michigan wrongful death statute clearly provides not that death creates a cause of action, but that death does not extinguish an otherwise valid cause of action." Id. at 599-600. Thus, plaintiff Vannortwick's wrongful death claim should properly accompany and be pleaded as part of, not independent of, her claim under § 1983, over which this court has retained federal subject matter jurisdiction. ORDER It is hereby ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration is DENIED. s/John Corbett O'Meara United States District Judge Date: December 4, 2017 2 I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon counsel of record on this date, December 4, 2017, using the ECF system. s/William Barkholz Case Manager 3

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