Rohrer Corporation v. Dane Electric
Order denying Plaintiff's Rule 60(a) Motion to correct judgment entry Nunc Pro Tunc (Related Doc # 95 ). Magistrate Judge Nancy A. Vecchiarelli on 6/29/2011.(P,G)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
CASE NO. 1:10-CV-958
NANCY A. VECCHIARELLI
Doc. No. 95
This case is before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to
the consent of the parties entered under the authority of 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 73. Before the Court is Plaintiff, Rohrer Corporation’s (“Rohrer”)
“Rule 60(a) Motion to Correct Judgment Entry Nunc Pro Tunc” (“Motion to Correct”).
(Doc. No. 95.) Defendant, Dane Electric (“Dane”) opposes. (Doc. No. 102.) For the
reasons set forth below, Rohrer’s Motion to Correct is DENIED.
Rohrer sued Dane on four theories: breach of settlement agreement, breach of
contract, money due on an account, and unjust enrichment. (2d Amend. Compl. 2-4,
Doc. No. 34.) On June 6, 2011, the parties proceeded to trial by jury on all four counts.
(Minute-Order 6/6/11, Doc. No. 87.) On June 9, 2011, Rohrer’s counsel explained to
the jury in its closing argument that, if the jury found Rohrer had met its burden on its
breach of settlement claim, the jury did not have to consider Rohrer’s other claims. On
June 10, 2011, however, the Court instructed the jury that an award of damages for any
of the counts were not cumulative. (See Minute-Order 6/10/11, Doc. No. 92; Jury
Instructions 38, Doc. No. 96.) Rohrer was placed on notice of this jury instruction at the
start of trial and never objected to the instruction.
On June 10, 2011, the jury found in Rohrer’s favor on all four counts. (Verdict
6/10/11, Doc. No. 93.) The jury found Dane liable to Rohrer for breach of settlement
agreement in the amount of $369,391.68; for breach of contract in the amount of $1.00;
for money due on an account in the amount of $369,391.68; and for unjust enrichment
in the amount of $91,967.88. (Verdict 6/10/11, Doc. No. 93.) The Court entered
Judgment in favor of Rohrer and awarded Rohrer $369,391.68 in damages, together
with prejudgment interest and attorney’s fees. (Doc. No. 94.)
On June 12, 2011, Rohrer filed its Motion to Correct pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 60(a). (Doc. No. 95.) Rohrer requests that the Court amend its
Judgment to include an additional award of damages in the amount of $91,967.88,
which is the amount for which the jury found Dane liable on Rohrer’s claim for unjust
enrichment. (Mot. Correct 2.)
On June 27, 2011, Dane filed its response in opposition to Rohrer’s Motion to
Correct. (Doc. No. 102.)
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(a) provides that a court may correct a clerical
mistake or a mistake arising from oversight or omission whenever one is found in a
judgment, order, or other part of the record. Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(a). The basic purpose
of the rule is to authorize the court to correct errors that are mechanical in nature that
arise from oversight or omission. In re Walter, 282 F.3d 434, 440 (6th Cir. 2002) (citing
11 C. Wright & A. Miller, Fed. Practice & Procedure § 2854, at 240 (2d ed.1995)).
Clerical mistakes include those made by judges as well as ministerial employees. Id.
(citing Blanton v. Anzalone, 813 F.2d 1574, 1577 (9th Cir.1987)). The rule does not,
however, authorize the court to revisit its legal analysis or otherwise correct an error of
substantive judgment. Id. (citing Olle v. Henry & Wright Corp., 910 F.2d 357, 364 (6th
Here, the Court’s award of $369,391.68 without an additional award of
$91,967.88 was not a result of clerical oversight or omission. Rohrer contends that the
$91,967.88 in damages for the unjust enrichment claim is based on credits that Rohrer
issued to Dane as part of the parties’ settlement agreement.1 (See Mot. Correct 4.)
Rohrer argues that it is entitled to an additional $91,967.88 for its unjust enrichment
claim because “[t]he jury, by awarding Rohrer $91,967.88 on its claim for unjust
enrichment, evidenced a clear intention to return to Rohrer the credit issued as part of
the settlement agreement.” (Mot. Correct 4.) The Court disagrees. The jury was
instructed that damages for each of Rohrer’s claims were not cumulative, and Rohrer
never objected to this instruction. Juries are presumed to follow their instructions.
Zafiro v. United States, 506 U.S. 534, 540 (1993); Pang v. Minch, 53 Ohio St. 3d 186,
Rohrer argued in its closing argument, however, that its unjust enrichment
claim is based upon the “reasonable value” of all the material delivered to and
accepted by Dane. (See also 2d Amend. Compl. 21.) If Rohrer was
requesting damages for “credit” issued to Dane as part of the settlement
agreement, it should have asked the jury for that amount to be included in its
damages for breach of the settlement agreement.
195, 559 N.E.2d 1313, 1322 (Ohio 1990). There is no basis to conclude that the jury
intended to award Rohrer damages for both its breach of settlement claim and its unjust
enrichment claim when the jury was instructed that damages for each claim were not
Furthermore, in Ohio a party cannot recover for unjust enrichment when an
express contract covers the same subject. Randolph v. New England Mut. Life Ins.
Co., 526 F.2d 1383, 1387 (6th Cir. 1975); ArcelorMittal Cleveland, Inc. v. Jewell Coke
Co., L.P., 750 F. Supp. 2d 839, 849 (N.D. Ohio 2010) (Gwin, J.). At trial, a witness for
Dane admitted that it entered into the settlement agreement with Rohrer. Rohrer gave
Dane $91,967.88 in credit as part of Rohrer’s performance of the agreement. (2d
Amend. Compl. ¶ 9; Mot. Correct 4.) The jury found Dane liable for breach of the
settlement agreement. Accordingly, Rohrer is entitled to the $369,391.68 in damages
based on Dane’s failure to perform its obligations under the agreement, not the
$91,967.88 in credits. Accordingly, Rohrer’s Motion to Correct is denied.
For the reasons set forth above, Plaintiff’s Motion to Correct is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/ Nancy A. Vecchiarelli
Nancy A. Vecchiarelli
United States Magistrate Judge
Date: June 29, 2011
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