KELLY v. RELIANCE STANDARD LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY et al
OPINION AND ORDER denying pltf's 188 Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by Judge Katharine S. Hayden on 8/31/2015. (nr, )
Not for Publication
United States District Court
for the District of New Jersey
THOMAS P. KELLY, JR.,
Civil No: 09-2478 (KSH)
RELIANCE STANDARD LIFE
Opinion and Order
THE PENN MUTUAL LIFE
Katharine S. Hayden, U.S.D.J.
This matter comes before the Court on plaintiff Kelly’s motion for
reconsideration of this Court’s May 28, 2015 order [D.E. 187]. The Court
notes as follows:
• Kelly filed this action six years ago for disability income benefits
under a plan that was offered by his employer, The Penn Mutual
Life Insurance Company, and issued by Reliance Standard Life
Insurance Company (“Reliance”). Reliance first denied Kelly’s
claim for benefits in October 2006, and again in February 2011 (the
“February Letter”) after this Court remanded Kelly’s claim back to
the insurer [D.E. 87].
• The February Letter noted that Kelly sought disability benefits
under both the “regular occupation” and the “any occupation”
standards. Reliance denied Kelly’s claim under the former
definition, and never reached a determination as to his eligibility
under the latter. Kelly then reopened this action and moved for
summary judgment on his claims in March 2011. In an opinion
dated December 22, 2011, this Court found that the February Letter
amounted to an “inappropriately selective review,” and held that
“Kelly [was] entitled to receive the LTD benefits owed to him under
the Plan.” [D.E. 106]. Reliance then paid Kelly $180,127.53 with
pre- and post-judgment interest—an amount “representing twentyfour (24) months of benefits” under the “regular occupation”
• Kelly maintains that this payment is insufficient. In his crossmotion for summary judgment filed on December 6, 2014, Kelly
argued that (1) the Court determined in its December 2011 opinion
that Kelly was also entitled to benefits under the “any occupation”
standard; and (2) the amount of benefits already paid is less than
what he is owed under the “regular occupation” definition. The
Court denied Kelly’s cross-motion and found that because Reliance
never issued a decision on the “any occupation” benefits, the claim
must be remanded back to the insurer. [D.E. 186]. Kelly now moves
Having reviewed the parties’ submission on this motion, and with
good cause appearing, the Court concludes as follows:
• A motion for reconsideration filed pursuant to L. Civ. R. 7.1(i) is an
“extremely limited procedural vehicle,” Tehan v. Disability Mgmt.
Servs., Inc., 111 F. Supp. 2d 542, 549 (D.N.J. 2000), and may only
be granted where (1) an intervening change in the controlling law
has occurred; (2) evidence not previously available has become
available; or (3) it is necessary to correct clear error of law or prevent
manifest injustice. Max’s Seafood Café v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669,
677 (3d Cir. 1999). Kelly’s motion relies exclusively on the third
leg—to succeed, he must show that “dispositive factual matters or
controlling decisions were over looked by the court in reaching its
prior decision.” Assisted Living Associates of Moorestown, LLC v.
Moorestown Township, 996 F. Supp. 409, 442 (D.N.J. 1998).
• Kelly makes the same argument in this reconsideration motion as he
made in opposition to Reliance’s motion to remand and his own
cross-motion for summary judgment. He contends that Reliance did
“consider” his claim for benefits under the “any occupation”
standard, and the Court’s finding that he was “entitled to receive the
LTD benefits owed to him under the Plan” therefore encompassed
such relief. This argument, once again, goes too far. Was Kelly’s
claim for “any occupation” benefits presented to Reliance, along
with his claim for “regular occupation” benefits? Yes. Did Reliance
decide whether Kelly was entitled to benefits under the “any
occupation” standard? No, it indisputably did not. These findings
formed the basis for the Court’s order to remand, and Kelly
identifies no facts that the Court overlooked in connection with that
analysis. See Russell v. Levi, 2006 WL 2355476, at *1 (D.N.J. Aug.
15, 2006) (Wolfson, J.) (“The Court will grant a motion for
reconsideration only where its prior decision has overlooked a
factual or legal issue that may alter the disposition of the matter.
The word ‘overlooked’ is the operative term in the Rule.”) (internal
• The Court has already ruled on the legal and factual issues now
presented—that Kelly disagrees with the manner in which those
questions were resolved is of no moment under L. Civ. R. 7.1(i).
See Krishanthi v. Rajaratnam, 2011 WL 1885707, at *1 (D.N.J.
May 18, 2011) (Cavanaugh, J.) (“It is improper on a motion for
reconsideration to ‘ask the court to rethink what it ha[s] already
thought through—rightly or wrongly.”) (quoting Oritani Sav. &
Loan Ass’n v. Fidelity & Deposit Co., 744 F. Supp. 1311, 1314
(D.N.J. 1990). Kelly’s motion for reconsideration [D.E. 188]
therefore is denied.
SO ORDERED this 31st day of August, 2015
/s/ Katharine S. Hayden
Katharine S. Hayden, U.S.D.J.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?