Cunningham Lindsey U.S. Inc. et al v. Bonanni et al
ORDER denying Cunningham Lindsay's motion for reconsideration 77 of ct's order 76 dated 4/22/14. (See order for complete details.) Signed by Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner on 8/11/14. (ki)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
CUNNINGHAM LINDSEY U.S., INC.
and CL ACQUISITIONS HOLDINGS
PAT BONNANI, DALE FOHL, and
CIVIL NO. 1:13-CV-2528
(Chief Judge Conner)
AND NOW, this 11th day of August, 2014, upon consideration of the motion
for reconsideration (Doc. 77) filed by plaintiffs Cunningham Lindsey U.S., Inc., and
CL Acquisitions Holdings Limited (collectively “Cunningham Lindsey”), wherein
Cunningham Lindsey seeks partial reconsideration of the court’s memorandum
(Doc. 75) and order (Doc. 76) dated April 22, 2014, granting defendants’ motion to
dismiss in part,1 and the court emphasizing that the purpose of a motion for
reconsideration is to present newly discovered evidence or to correct manifest
errors of law or fact, see Max’s Seafood Café v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677-78 (3d
Cir. 1999); Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985), and noting
The court granted defendants’ underlying motion to dismiss in part and
dismissed Cunningham Lindsey’s tort claims in Counts II, III, V, VI, and VII based
on the gist of the action doctrine. (See Doc. 76). Therein, the court agreed with
defendants that Cunningham Lindsey’s tort claims derive from the same conduct
underlying its breach of contract claims and are thus barred by the gist of the
action doctrine. (See Doc. 75 at 11-21).
that the court possesses an inherent power to reconsider its orders “when it is
consonant with justice to do so,” United States v. Jerry, 487 F.2d 600, 605 (3d Cir.
1973); Alea N. Am. Ins. Co. v. Salem Masonry Co. 301 F. App’x 119, 121 (3d Cir.
2008), but that such relief is to be granted “sparingly,” Montanez v. York City, Civ.
No. 12-cv-1530, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96521, at *20 (M.D. Pa. July 16, 2014) (quoting
Continental Casualty Co. v. Diversified Indus., Inc., 884 F. Supp. 937, 943 (E.D. Pa.
1995)), and that a party may not invoke a motion for reconsideration as a means to
relitigate matters of disagreement with the court, see Boretsky v. Governor of N.J.,
433 F. App’x 73, 78 (3d Cir. 2011) (quoting Wilchombe v. TeeVee Toons, Inc., 555
F.3d 949, 957 (11th Cir. 2007)), nor is a motion for reconsideration “an opportunity
for a party to present previously available evidence or new arguments,” Federico v.
Charterers Mut. Assurance Ass’n Ltd., 158 F. Supp. 2d 565, 577 (E.D. Pa. 2001); see
also Harsco Corp., 779 F.2d at 909, and it appearing that Cunningham Lindsey
bases its motion on arguments identical to or expanding upon those raised in
opposition to defendants’ initial motion to dismiss, and neither identifies nor
substantiates a clear error of law in the court’s prior decision,2 and accordingly fails
to satisfy the exacting standard of review applied to motions for reconsideration, it
is hereby ORDERED that Cunningham Lindsey’s motion for reconsideration (Doc.
77) of the court’s order (Doc. 76) dated April 22, 2014 is DENIED.
/S/ CHRISTOPHER C. CONNER
Christopher C. Conner, Chief Judge
United States District Court
Middle District of Pennsylvania
In support of its motion for reconsideration, Cunningham Lindsey contests
the procedural and substantive propriety of the court’s application of the gist of the
action doctrine at the Rule 12(b)(6) stage. Cunningham Lindsey again reiterates its
belief that it is premature to apply the doctrine when the validity and enforceability
of the parties’ respective agreements remains in question, (Doc. 78 at 9-14), and
that, in any event, Cunningham Lindsey’s tort claims transcend the agreements in
such a way as to avoid the gist of the action bar. (Id. at 14-21). These issues were
fully contemplated and disposed of by the court’s prior memorandum and order.
(See Doc. 75 at 11-21). Cunningham Lindsey cites no judicial authority, binding or
otherwise, to support its contention that the court’s application of the gist of the
action doctrine was “clearly erroneous.” Rather, Cunningham Lindsey seeks to
expand upon arguments previously raised and rejected by the court. It is wellsettled that requests for the court to simply rethink a decision it has already made
are not proper grounds for a motion for reconsideration. See Douris v. Schweiker,
229 F.Supp. 2d 391, 408 (E.D. Pa. 2002).
Cunningham Lindsey summarily argues that the court’s memorandum
erroneously references non-competition and customer non-solicitation clauses in
the letter agreements. (See Doc. 78 at 15). The court agrees that its inadvertent
mention of these clauses was in error. However, it is harmless error because
neither party disputes that the agreements otherwise contained broad
confidentiality, non-disclosure, and employee non-solicitation clauses. As
previously set forth in its memorandum, the court holds that these provisions of the
agreements, read together, subsume the entirety of Cunningham Lindsey’s tort
claims and compel application of the gist of the action doctrine. (See Doc. 75 at 1121).
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