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D'Avanzo v. Copper Cellar Corp.

United States District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee, Knoxville

March 16, 2015

LYNN D’AVANZO, Plaintiff,
v.
COPPER CELLAR CORPORATION, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

THOMAS A. VARLAN, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

This civil case is before the Court on plaintiff’s Rule 59(e) Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment [Doc. 65], to which defendant responded [Doc. 72], and the magistrate judge’s Report and Recommendation that the Court deny defendant’s requests for attorney and expert fees [Doc. 79]. Defendant filed objections to the Report and Recommendation [Doc. 80], to which plaintiff responded [Doc. 82]. Having carefully considered the record, the arguments of the parties, and the relevant case law, and for the reasons below, the Court will deny plaintiff’s motion and accept the Report and Recommendation to the extent stated herein.

I. Background

Plaintiff’s claims arose from her employment with and subsequent termination by defendant. Plaintiff’s amended complaint [Doc. 11] asserted claims against defendant for age, sex, religious, and national origin discrimination, as well as claims related to each protected class for hostile work environment, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. Plaintiff also alleged retaliation claims in violation of Title VII and the ADEA, as well as various state statutory and common law claims [Id. ¶¶ 61–65].

The Court presumes familiarity with the facts of this case as well as the analysis underlying the Court’s memorandum opinion and accompanying order [Docs. 62, 63]. Ruling on defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the Court dismissed with prejudice all of plaintiff’s federal discrimination claims and dismissed without prejudice plaintiff’s state-law causes of action [Doc. 63].

II. Analysis

A. Plaintiff’s Rule 59(e) Motion

“A district court may grant a Rule 59(e) motion to alter or amend judgment only if there is: ‘(1) a clear error of law; (2) newly discovered evidence; (3) an intervening change in controlling law; or (4) a need to prevent manifest injustice.’” Henderson v. Walled Lake Consol. Schs., 469 F.3d 479, 496 (6th Cir. 2006) (quoting Intera Corp. v. Henderson, 428 F.3d 605, 620 (6th Cir. 2005)). Rule 59 motions “are not intended as a vehicle to relitigate previously considered issues . . . and are not the proper vehicle to attempt to obtain a reversal of a judgment by offering the same arguments previously presented.” Kenneth Henes Special Projects Procurement v. Cont’l Biomass Indus., Inc., 86 F.Supp.2d 721, 726 (E.D. Mich. 2000) (emphasis and citation omitted); see also Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians v. Engler, 146 F.3d 367, 374 (6th Cir. 1998) (noting that a Rule 59(e) motion “is not an opportunity to re-argue a case” nor an avenue to raise arguments that “could have, but [were] not” raised before); Beltowski v. Bradshaw, No. 1:08 CV 2651, 2009 WL 5205368, at *4 (N.D. Ohio Dec. 23, 2009) (“The motion for reconsideration should not provide the parties with an opportunity for a second bite at the apple.”).

Plaintiff argues that the Court’s grant of summary judgment for defendant “was based on clear errors of fact and a mis-application of the standard for summary judgment” [Doc. 65 p. 1]. Having reviewed the record and the Court’s memorandum opinion, the Court disagrees.

First, plaintiff claims the Court “ignored and/or otherwise missed pertinent facts which should have precluded the entry of summary judgment” for defendant [Doc. 65-1 p. 2]. The Court, however, conducted a thorough analysis of plaintiff’s claims [See generally Doc. 62]. And as defendant points out, the record in this case is extensive, and “‘[n]othing in either the Rules or case law supports an argument that the trial court must conduct its own probing investigation of the record’” [Doc. 72 p. 4, 8 (quoting Guarino v. Brookfield Twp. Trs., 980 F.2d 399, 405 (6th Cir. 1992))].

Second, plaintiff faults the Court for allegedly not viewing all facts and all inferences to be drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to plaintiff [See Doc. 65-1 p. 12]. But having reviewed its memorandum opinion, the Court does not find that it deviated from this mandate. In addition to stating the legal standard at the outset of the opinion, and analyzing consistently therewith, the Court expressly acknowledged its duty to so view the facts and inferences at other points in the opinion [See Doc. 62 p. 10, 34, 24 n.3].

In addition, having reviewed the record, the Court finds that plaintiff’s Rule 59(e) motion raises new arguments that could have previously been made and is essentially an attempt to re-argue the case [See generally Doc. 72 p. 5–11; Doc. 65-1]. To the extent plaintiff’s motion raises new arguments, those will not be entertained by the Court, as “[i]t is well-settled that ‘parties cannot use a motion for reconsideration to raise new legal arguments that could have been raised before a judgment was issued.’” Bank of Ann Arbor v. Everest Nat’l Ins. Co., 563 F. App’x 473, 476 (6th Cir. 2014) (quoting Roger Miller Music, Inc. v. Sony/ATV Publ’g, 477 F.3d 383, 395 (6th Cir. 2007)). Nor are plaintiff’s other arguments well-taken, as “reconsideration motions cannot be used as an opportunity to re-argue a case.” See Bank of Ann Arbor, 563 F. App’x at 476.

In sum, because plaintiff’s alleged errors lack merit and because plaintiff has used her motion to introduce new arguments that could have been presented earlier and to essentially re-argue the case, the Court will deny plaintiff’s motion. Plaintiff has not shown that the Court’s memorandum opinion contained a clear error of law, that there is newly discovered evidence or has been a ...


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