St. Paul Mercury Insurance Company v. Order of St. Benedict, Inc.
ORDER denying 67 Motion to Alter/Amend/Correct Judgment; denying 70 letter request for leave to file a motion to reconsider (Written Opinion) Signed by Senior Judge David S. Doty on 4/20/2017. (DLO)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Civil No. 15-2617(DSD/KMM)
St. Paul Mercury Insurance
Order of St. Benedict, Inc.,
This matter is before the court upon the motion to alter or
amend judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) or, in the alternative, for
relief from judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b) by defendant The Order
of St. Benedict, Inc. (Order).
Based on a review of the file,
record, and proceedings herein, and for the following reasons, the
court denies the motion.1
The background of this matter is fully set forth in the
court’s order granting summary judgment to plaintiff St. Paul
Mercury Insurance Company (St. Paul) and will not be repeated here.
The Order moves for post-judgment relief on the grounds that newly
discovered evidence belies the court’s reasoning and analysis. The
Order also argues that the court erred in applying the law.
The court also denies the Order’s letter request for leave
to file a motion to reconsider. ECF No. 70.
“A district court has broad discretion in determining whether
to grant or deny a motion to alter or amend judgment pursuant to
Rule 59(e) ....”
United States v. Metro. St. Louis Sewer Dist.,
440 F.3d 930, 933 (8th Cir. 2006).
A Rule 59(e) motion serves the
limited function of “correcting manifest errors of law or fact or
to present newly discovered evidence.”2
Innovative Home Health
Care, Inc. v. P.T.-O.T. Assocs. of the Black Hills, 141 F.3d 1284,
1286 (8th Cir. 1998) (internal quotations omitted).
It does not
afford an opportunity to present evidence or legal argument that
could have been offered prior to entry of judgment.
Busch, 349 F.3d 582, 589 (8th Cir. 2003).
Nor can the rule be used
Henderson, 223 F.3d 818, 827 (8th Cir. 2000).
extraordinary remedy and will be justified only under exceptional
Prudential Ins. Co. of Am. v. Nat’l Park Med.
Ctr., Inc., 413 F.3d 897, 903 (8th Cir. 2005) (citations and
internal quotation marks omitted).
Such circumstances include
The court notes that the “[t]he practice of this district
is to utilize Rule 59(e) motions to address mechanical changes to
a judgment, such as correcting a dollar amount that was incorrectly
entered, and not to request the Court to reconsider the substance
of a ruling.” Schwarz Pharma, Inc. V. Paddock Labs., No. 05-832,
2006 WL 3359336, at *1 (D. Minn. Nov. 20, 2006). The court will
nevertheless consider the Order’s arguments in the context of its
motion as a whole.
mistake, newly discovered evidence, fraud, misrepresentation, or
“any other reason that justifies relief.”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b).
With respect to the claimed errors in law, the court will not
address the Order’s arguments, because they simply repeat its
position, which the court has already considered and rejected. See
Dale & Selby Superette & Deli v. U.S. Dep’t of Agric., 838 F. Supp.
1346, 1348 (D. Minn. 1993) (noting that post-judgment motions are
“not intended to routinely give litigants a second bite at the
apple, but to afford an opportunity for relief in extraordinary
recently uncovered documents support its assertion that the parties
intended to expand the relevant policies to include coverage for
sexual abuse claims.
After the court entered judgment, the Order
requested documentation from its insurance brokerage firm relating
to its St. Paul insurance policies.
Berg Aff. ¶¶ 1-4.
senior vice president of Willis of Minnesota, Inc., reviewed the
Order’s policy file and located letters from 1994 discussing
“sexual molestation or activity exclusion.”
Id. ¶ 5 & Exs.
Order argues that these letters definitively establish that the
parties intended to expand coverage to include coverage for sexual
abuse claims for the policies at issue, which were in place from
July 1990 to July 1992.
In order to prevail on the basis of newly discovered evidence,
the Order must show that:
(1) the evidence was discovered after
judgment; (2) due diligence was exercised to discover the evidence;
impeaching; and (4) the evidence would probably produce a different
Mitchell v. Shalala, 48 F.3d 1039, 1041 (8th Cir. 1995).
The Order has not met this standard.
First, the Order did not exercise due diligence during the
case to discover the evidence.
In fact, the Order acknowledges
that it undertook no discovery during the nearly two years the case
was pending despite having the ability to do so.
Given the ease
with which the Order was able to retrieve the documents postjudgment, it appears that nothing prevented it from doing so
Second, the evidence is not material.
In the underlying
order, the court held that the policies were unambiguous.
result, the letters, even if directed to the policies at issue,
would not have been considered by the court.
Further, the letters
are from 1994, two years after the policies expired, and thus are
of dubious relevance in any event.
As a result, the evidence is
not “newly discovered,” and the Order is not entitled to relief.
Accordingly, based on the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that
the motion for to alter, amend, or correct the judgment or, in the
alternative, for relief from judgment [ECF No. 67] is denied.
Dated: April 20, 2017
s/David S. Doty
David S. Doty, Judge
United States District Court
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