The Estate of Claude Stevens et al v. Stewart et al
ORDER denying 29 Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
SHERRY L. VANNORTWICK, as
Personal Representative of the Estate of
Claude Stevens, deceased,
Case No. 17-12507
Honorable John Corbett O’Meara
ANTHONY H. STEWERT, et. al.,
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.
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.
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
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.
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