IVANOVS et al v. BAYADA HOME HEALTH CARE, INC.
OPINION. Signed by Judge Noel L. Hillman on 1/18/2023. (alb, )
Case 1:17-cv-01742-NLH-AMD Document 281 Filed 01/18/23 Page 1 of 7 PageID: 4630
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
SONYA IVANOVS and KATIE
HOFFMAN, ON BEHALF OF
THEMSELVES AND ALL OTHER
SIMILARLY SITUATED EMPLOYEES,
BAYADA HOME HEALTH CARE,
MICHAEL JOHN PALITZ
SHAVITZ LAW GROUP, P.A.
800 3RD AVENUE
New York, N.Y. 10022
On behalf of Plaintiffs
MICHAEL D. HOMANS
HOMANS PECK, LLC
1500 JOHN F. KENNEDY BLVD.
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 19102
On behalf of Defendant
HILLMAN, District Judge
Pending before the Court is Plaintiffs’ motion for
reconsideration with respect to the Court’s opinion and order
regarding one of Plaintiffs’ motions in limine.
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the reasons expressed below, the motion will be denied.
Named Plaintiffs Sonya Ivanovs and Katie Hoffman instituted
the instant action on behalf of themselves and similarly
situated employees alleging violations of the Fair Labor
Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201, et seq., by Defendant
BAYADA Home Health Care, Inc. (“Defendant”).
(ECF 1 at ¶¶ 2-4,
Specifically, Plaintiffs claim that Defendant “unlawfully
classifies all of its [Client Services Managers (“CSMs”)]
nationwide as exempt from the minimum wage and overtime
requirements of the [FLSA], despite the fact that they should be
classified as non-exempt employees.”
(Id. at ¶ 3).
On December 12, 2022, Plaintiffs filed a motion in limine
seeking to preclude evidence as to the duties, expectations, and
requirements of CSMs who are not participating in this case or
who are not slated to testify.
The Court denied
Plaintiffs’ motion, concluding that – because Plaintiffs have
alleged that Defendant has misclassified all CSMs – evidence
from nonparticipants and those not scheduled to testify who have
been subject to the same policies as Plaintiffs is relevant to
Defendant’s defense of proper classification.
(ECF 273 at 4).
In so doing, the Court cited out-of-district decisions for
support of its conclusion that the theory of Plaintiffs’ case
made relevant the evidence of nonparticipant and non-testifying
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(Id. at 3-4).
On January 12, 2023, Plaintiffs filed the pending motion
for reconsideration, contending that significant similarities
and differences between the cited out-of-district decisions and
the present matter resulted in a clear error of law
The Court possesses original jurisdiction over this action
as Plaintiffs’ claims are based on alleged violations of the
See 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
B. Motions for Reconsideration
Motions for reconsideration filed within this District are
governed by Local Civil Rule 7.1(i).
Solid Rock Baptist Church
v. Murphy, 555 F. Supp. 3d 53, 59 (D.N.J. Aug. 16, 2021).
Pursuant to the Local Civil Rules, a motion for reconsideration
is to be accompanied by “a brief setting forth concisely the
matter or controlling decisions which the party believes the
Judge has overlooked.”
L. Civ. R. 7.1(i).
“[A] motion for reconsideration is an ‘extremely limited
procedural vehicle,’” Champion Lab’ys, Inc. v. Metex Corp., 677
F. Supp. 2d 748, 750 (D.N.J. Jan. 4, 2010) (quoting Resorts
Int'l v. Greate Bay Hotel & Casino, 830 F. Supp. 826, 831
(D.N.J. Sept. 1, 1992)), to be granted only upon a showing that
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(1) there has been an intervening change in controlling law, (2)
new evidence has become available that was unavailable when the
court entered the order, or (3) reconsideration “is necessary to
correct a clear error of law or fact to prevent manifest
Solid Rock Baptist Church, 555 F. Supp. 3d at 60
(citing Max's Seafood Café v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d
To warrant reconsideration under the “clear error”
prong, “the movant must show that ‘dispositive factual matters
or controlling decisions of law were brought to the court's
attention but not considered.’”
D'Argenzio v. Bank of Am.
Corp., 877 F. Supp. 2d 202, 207 (D.N.J. July 9, 2012) (quoting
P. Schoenfeld Asset Mgmt. LLC v. Cendant Corp., 161 F. Supp. 2d
349, 353 (D.N.J. Aug. 24, 2001)).
In support of its conclusion that evidence from
nonparticipant and non-testifying CSMs is relevant and
admissible, the Court cited the Eastern District of Louisiana’s
decision in Johnson v. Big Lots Stores, Inc., 253 F.R.D. 381,
387 (E.D. La. May 7, 2008), for support of the proposition that
– when a plaintiff alleges a broad corporate policy of
misclassification in a FLSA collective action – the experiences
of non-opt-ins subject to those same policies are relevant to
the employer’s defense of proper classification.
(ECF 273 at
The Court also, in a string cite, cited the Western
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District of Arkansas’s decision in Rasberry v. Columbia County,
385 F. Supp. 3d 792, 795 (W.D. Ark. Apr. 4, 2019), for the
contrary but related position that, because the court concluded
that that case only concerned overtime violations relating to
plaintiffs and opt-ins, evidence from nonparty employees was
irrelevant or prejudicial.
(Id. at 3-4).
Plaintiffs, citing the pre-trial order from Johnson, argue
that Johnson is distinguishable from the present case because it
involved a bench trial and thus the Court was mistaken in
relying on it.
(ECF 276 at 4; ECF 276-2).
Because the Johnson
court served as the factfinder, it did not have to analyze the
prejudice and potential confusion nonparticipant evidence would
cause in a jury trial and was prepared to afford such evidence
appropriate weight, according to Plaintiffs.
(ECF 276 at 4).
Plaintiffs also, citing the amended complaint in Rasberry,
assert that the plaintiffs in Rasberry, like them, alleged a
broad policy of misclassification, and thus any distinction
drawn between the Court and Rasberry represents a clear error of
(Id. at 3; ECF 276-1 at ¶ 42).
The Court has reviewed the two cases and concludes that
they stand for the propositions for which they were cited.
Plaintiffs’ references to factual and procedural similarities
and differences between Johnson, Rasberry, and the case at bar
do not lead the Court to the conclusion that it misread or
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misinterpreted the out-of-district decisions.
More relevantly, Plaintiffs have failed to offer any
controlling decision that they believe the Court has overlooked
as required by the Local Civil Rules.
See L. Civ. R. 7.1(i).
Rather, Plaintiffs argue that the factual and procedural
similarities and differences between this case and Johnson and
Rasberry not expressly recognized by the Court in its opinion
and order constitute a clear error of law requiring
(ECF 276 at 2-4).
However, “[a] decision of a
federal district court judge is not binding precedent in either
a different judicial district, the same judicial district, or
even upon the same [district] judge in a different
Daubert v. NRA Grp., LLC, 861 F.3d 382, 395 (3d Cir.
2017) (second alteration in original) (quoting Camreta v.
Greene, 563 U.S. 692, 709 n.7 (2011)).
Therefore, even if the
Court were to – for instance – adopt what Plaintiffs offer as
the “correct reading” of Rasberry, (ECF 276 at 3), that reading
would not be controlling and would not satisfy the standard of
Local Civil Rule 7.1(i).
District courts possess considerable discretion in making
See Acumed LLC v. Advanced Surgical
Servs., Inc., 561 F.3d 199, 211 (3d Cir. 2009) (noting that
district courts’ evidentiary rulings are reviewed for abuse of
discretion and, to demonstrate such abuse, “an appellant must
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show that the court's decision was ‘arbitrary, fanciful or
clearly unreasonable.’” (quoting Moyer v. United Dominion
Indus., 473 F.3d 532, 542 (3d Cir. 2007))).
In exercising that
discretion, the Court concluded that evidence from
nonparticipant and non-testifying CSMs is relevant due to the
theory of Plaintiffs’ case and that the probative value of such
evidence is not substantially outweighed by the risk of
confusion or prejudice.
In so deciding, the Court found the
non-binding reasonings of Johnson and Rasberry persuasive and
supportive of its decision.
To the extent that Plaintiffs
contend that the similarities and differences of those cases as
compared to the instant matter warranted a different result,
disagreement with a court’s decision does not support
reconsideration absent presentation of a dispositive legal
matter that the Court overlooked.
See Rich v. State, 294 F.
Supp. 3d 266, 272-73 (D.N.J. Feb. 6, 2018).
have not cited a contrary, controlling decision overlooked by
the Court, their motion for reconsideration is denied.
For the reasons stated above, Plaintiffs’ motion for
reconsideration, (ECF 276), will be denied.
An Order consistent
with this Opinion will be entered.
Date: January 18, 2023
At Camden, New Jersey
s/ Noel L. Hillman
NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
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