GRANT v. REVERA INC./REVERA HEALTH SYSTEMS et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 2/24/2015. (dmr)(n.m.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE
No. 12-5857 (JBS/KMW)
REVERA INC./REVERA HEALTH
SYSTEMS, PRISCILLA MILLER, IN
HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS
PREMIER THERAPY SERVICES, and
JOHN OR MARY DOES,
SIMANDLE, Chief Judge:
In this employment litigation, pro se Plaintiff, Francienna
Grant (hereinafter, “Plaintiff”), moves for “reargument of
dispositive motions” [Docket Item 96], presumably as a result of
the Court’s December 23, 2014 Opinion and Order, which denied
Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, granted Defendants’
motion for summary judgment, and dismissed Plaintiff’s
See Grant v. Revera Inc./Revera Health Sys., No. 12-
5857, 2014 WL 7341198 (D.N.J. Dec. 23, 2014).
The Court finds
Plaintiff filed the initial Complaint in this action
in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on June 15, 2012.
id. at *6.
The Eastern District of Pennsylvania transferred
this action to this Court on August 20, 2012 and, following
pretrial factual discovery in this District, the parties filed
cross-motions for summary judgment.
In a forty-six page decision dated December 23, 2014,
the Court discussed, at great length, Plaintiff’s claims that
Defendants: (1) failed to accommodate her disability; (2) failed
to accommodate her religion; (3) failed to intervene in the face
of workplace harassment; (4) subjected Plaintiff to unequal
terms and conditions of employment; (5) wrongfully terminated
and retaliated against Plaintiff in violation of the Americans
with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12112-12117 (hereinafter,
“ADA”); (6) breached Plaintiff’s employment contract; and (7)
committed fraud by terminating Plaintiff under false
See generally id.
Following a comprehensive
discussion of the record evidence, the Court concluded that
Plaintiff failed to exhaust her religious accommodation claims,
id. at *9, and adduced no, or insufficient evidence, in support
of any legally cognizable claims for breach of contract, for
fraud, and/or for ADA discrimination under multiple theories.1
Id. at *10-*15.
The Court, accordingly, denied Plaintiff’s
Given the substantive nature of Plaintiff’s allegations
concerning Defendants' alleged application of “[u]nequal terms
and conditions of employment,” the Court found that such
assertion constituted an additional theory of relief in
connection with Plaintiff's ADA discrimination claim, rather
than an independent claim. See Grant, 2014 WL 7341198, at *1
motion for summary judgment, granted Defendants’ motion for
summary judgment in its entirety, and dismissed Plaintiff’s
Id. at *16.
Plaintiff now moves for “reargument of dispositive
motions,” but nowhere references the Court’s prior Opinion, nor
challenges any of the Court’s prior findings.
(See Pl.’s Notice
Rather, in support of her request, Plaintiff has
appended various briefs and documents substantively identical to
those reviewed by the Court in connection with Plaintiff’s
earlier motion for summary judgment.2
(See generally Pl.’s Br.)
Plaintiff, in particular, reargues: that Defendants violated her
protected rights under the ADA; that she properly exhausted her
religious accommodation claim; that Defendants breached the
alleged employment contract; and that Defendants committed
fraud, and requests that summary judgment be granted in her
(See Pl.’s Br. at 35-52.)
Defendants, in turn, submit
that Plaintiff’s motion lacks merit, because she “merely
reasserts the same arguments” raised in the prior submissions,
and “has failed to articulate any reason for the Court to
reconsider its denial of her motion for summary judgment and
[the] grant[ing] of Defendants’ motion for summary judgment.”
(Defs.’ Opp’n at 1.)
Indeed, Plaintiff appends, in part, her prior brief. (See
generally Pl.’s Br. at 23-29.)
Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) provides that a party moving
for reconsideration3 must set forth “concisely the matter or
controlling decisions which the party believes” the Court
“overlooked” in its prior decision.
L. CIV. R. 7.1(i).
such, a party seeking reconsideration must satisfy a high
burden, and must rely on one of three grounds: (1) an
intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of
new evidence not available previously; or (3) the need to
correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest
Altana Pharma AG v. Teva Pharm. USA, Inc., No. 04-
2355, 2009 WL 5818836, at *1 (D.N.J. Dec. 1, 2009) (citing Max's
Seafood Café ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669,
677 (3d Cir. 1999); N. River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance Co.,
52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995)).
A motion for reconsideration, however, constitutes an
extremely limited procedural vehicle, and does “not provide the
parties with an opportunity for a second bite at the apple,”
Tishcio v. Bontex, Inc., 16 F. Supp. 2d 511, 532 (D.N.J. 1998),
nor “a vehicle to relitigate old matters or argue new matters
Though styled as a motion for “reargument of dispositive
motions,” the overwhelming weight of authority in this District
makes clear that, reconsideration and reargument are
interchangeable terms, and, however denominated, are governed by
Local Civil Rule 7.1(i). See, e.g., Abdullah v. Dep’t of
Corrs., No. 05-4236, 2007 WL 275719, at *2 n.2 (D.N.J. Jan. 29,
2007); Veggian v. Camden Bd. of Educ., No. 05-0070, 2006 WL
3109741, at *1 n.1 (D.N.J. Oct. 31, 2006).
that could have been raised before the court made its original
Manning v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith,
Inc., No. 12-4466, 2013 WL 2285955, at *2 (D.N.J. May 23, 2013)
(citing Asset Mgmt., LLC v. Cendant Corp., 161 F. Supp. 2d 349,
352 (D.N.J. 2001; Tishcio, 16 F. Supp. 2d at 532).
“[m]ere disagreement with the Court will not suffice to show
that the Court overlooked relevant facts or controlling law and
should be dealt with through the normal appellate process.”
Schiano v. MBNA Corp., No. 05-1771, 2006 WL 3831225, *2 (D.N.J.
Dec. 28, 2006) (internal citations omitted).
order for reconsideration to be warranted, the party seek
reconsideration must specifically rely upon one of the
qualifying bases, see L. CIV. R. 7.1(i), and not merely a
recapitulation of prior cases and arguments, nor an expression
of disagreement with the Court’s earlier decision.
v. Phoenix Life Ins., No. 09-6323, 2015 WL 348552, at *1 (D.N.J.
Jan. 23, 2015).
Moreover, Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) requires that a
motion for reconsideration be served and filed within 14 days
following entry of the Order on the original motion.
See L. CIV.
Here, however, because Plaintiff received electronic
service of the Court’s December 23, 2014 Opinion and Order,
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(d) requires the addition of
three days to the fourteen day period set forth by Local Civil
Consequently, in order to be timely, Court Rules
required any motion for reconsideration be filed by no later
than January 9, 2015.
Plaintiff, however, did not file her
motion for “reargument” until January 20, 2015, eleven days
outside the fourteen-day period prescribed by Local Civil Rule
Therefore, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s motion can
be denied on that ground alone.
See Mitchell v. Twp. of
Willingboro Mun. Gov’t, 913 F. Supp. 2d 62, 78 (D.N.J. 2012)
(citing cases, and denying a motion for reconsideration as
Despite the timeliness issue, however, the Court finds
that additional reasons support the denial of Plaintiff’s
Critically, Plaintiff’s submission does not identify,
as required by Local Civil Rule 7.1(i), “an intervening change
in controlling law,” the presence of new, previously
unavailable, evidence, nor “the need to correct a clear error of
law or [to] prevent manifest injustice.”
Altana Pharma AG, 2009
WL 5818836, at *1; see also L. CIV. R. 7.1(i).
Plaintiff’s submissions do not challenge the Court’s prior
Opinion in any respect.
(See generally Pl.’s Br.)
Plaintiff merely recapitulates, in substantively identical
fashion, all of Plaintiff’s prior arguments concerning the
record evidence in support of her various claims.
Pl.’s Br. [Docket Item 96], with Pl.’s Mot. for Summ. J. [Docket
Item 78], Pl.’s Reply [Docket Item 86], and Pl.’s Sur-reply
[Docket Item 88].)
The Court’s December 23, 2014 decision, however,
expressly rejected each of Plaintiff’s recapitulated arguments,
and exhaustively addressed the record evidence proffered by both
parties in connection with their respective motions for summary
See Grant, 2014 WL 7341198, at *9-*15.
regard, Plaintiff’s motion constitutes little more an expression
of disagreement with the Court’s prior decision, a ground
patently insufficient for purposes of reconsideration.
e.g., Ezeiruaku v. Bull, No. 14-2567, 2014 WL 7177128 (D.N.J.
Dec. 16, 2014).
Nevertheless, the Court will briefly address
With respect to Plaintiff’s religious accommodation
claim, the Court’s Opinion explained, in great detail, the
requirement that Plaintiff exhaust administrative remedies by
timely submitting a charge of discrimination with the EEOC.
Grant, 2014 WL 7341198, at *8.
In addition, the Court set
forth, with specificity, the reasons why Plaintiff’s EEOC
“disability” and “relation” charge failed to include any claim
for religious accommodation.
See id. at *8-*9.
Court found her religious claims “well beyond the confines of
her EEOC charge,” because it contained “no reference to any
discrimination based upon Plaintiff’s religion.”
Id. at *8.
Therefore, the Court concluded that Plaintiff failed to exhaust
her religious accommodation claims, and that, in any event, the
time for exhaustion “ha[d] long since expired.”
Id. at *9.
the pending motion, Plaintiff does not dispute the basis for the
Court’s conclusion, nor its ultimate finding, but instead simply
reasserts her contrary position on the issue of exhaustion.
(See Pl.’s Br. at 35-36.)
As stated above, however, Plaintiff’s
disagreement with the Court’s evaluation fails to constitute a
valid basis for reconsideration. See Shevline, 2015 WL 348552,
In connection with Plaintiff’s claim for breach of
contract, the Court considered Plaintiff’s position that
Defendants’ breached their obligations under the employee
See Grant, 2014 WL 7341198, at *9.
considering, the Court summarized the limited circumstances
under which an employment manual could give rise to an implied
contract of employment, and compared those circumstances with
the parties’ proffer.
The Court, however, concluded
that Plaintiff “produced no evidence from which a reasonable
juror could conclude” that a contract, implied or otherwise,
governed the parties’ employment relationship, nor did she
dispute the language, placement, or efficacy of the disclaimer
set forth in the employee handbook.
In requesting “reargument,” Plaintiff does not challenge
Grant, 2014 WL 7341198, at
(See Pl.’s Br. at 38-40.)
Plaintiff simply restates her position that the employee
handbook created a contractual arrangement. (See id.)
however, Plaintiff’s contrary opinion as to the merits of her
claim does not provide a basis for reconsideration.
With regard to Plaintiff’s fraud claim, the Court
considered Plaintiff’s position that: “(1) Defendants terminated
her under false allegations; and (2) that Defendants used
malicious means to defame her good name and threaten her
professional license and well-being.”
Grant, 2014 WL 7341198,
The Court, however, found that Plaintiff proffered “no
factual support for her fraud claim, much less the surrounding
circumstances necessary to state a prima face fraud claim,” nor
had she “produced any evidence in support of her assertions.”
Grant, 2014 WL 7341198, at *11.
In the pending motion,
Plaintiff does not proffer new, previously unavailable evidence,
nor a need to correct any error in fact or law.
(See Pl.’s Br.
Rather, Plaintiff relies upon the same nebulous,
unsupported allegations of the variety routinely found
insufficient to support a viable fraud claim (see id.), and
already rejected by this Court.
See Grant, 2014 WL 7341198, at
Therefore the Court finds reconsideration unwarranted as
to this claim, as well.
Finally, with respect to Plaintiff’s claims of
discrimination under the ADA, the Court exhaustively addressed
Plaintiff’s assertions that “Defendants failed to reasonably
accommodate her disability, unlawfully terminated her employment
on the basis of her disability, subjected Plaintiff to a hostile
work environment, and retaliated against her for filing a
workers’ compensation claim.”
Id. at *11.
In light of the
record evidence, however, the Court found that Plaintiff adduced
no evidence in support of a cognizable claim for discrimination
pursuant to any theory under the ADA.
Id. at *11-*16.
support of the pending motion, Plaintiff has substantially
recopied and refiled her prior brief in support of summary
judgment, but has not otherwise identified new, previously
unavailable, evidence, nor stated that the Court committed any
error in reaching its ultimate conclusion.
(Compare Pl.’s Br.
at 43-52, with Pl.’s Mot. for Summ. J. at 1-3 and Pl.’s Surreply at 5-6.) Therefore, this claim too requires no
For all of these reasons, the Court finds that
Plaintiff’s motion fails to identify valid grounds for
reconsideration, particularly because Plaintiff’s brief nowhere
references the Court’s prior Opinion, nor specifically
challenges any of its findings.
Nevertheless, the Court finds
Plaintiff’s reiterated arguments to be without merit for the
reasons stated in the Court’s December 23, 2014 Opinion.
generally Grant, 2014 WL 7341198. Plaintiff’s motion for
reconsideration will, accordingly, be denied.
An accompanying Order will be entered.
February 24, 2015
s/ Jerome B. Simandle
JEROME B. SIMANDLE
Chief U.S. District Judge
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