United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. TRAUGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is the plaintiff's timely Rule 59(e) Motion to
Alter or Amend Final Order of Dismissal (Doc. No. 28),
seeking reconsideration of the Order of dismissal entered on
January 22, 2018. The motion has been fully briefed.
(See Doc. Nos. 29 (plaintiff's Memorandum in
Support), 32 (defendant's Response in Opposition), 36
(plaintiff's Reply), 40 (defendant's Sur-reply).) For
the reasons set forth herein, the plaintiff's motion will
Procedural and Factual Background
Melissa Brumley is employed by defendant UPS as a sorter at a
warehouse located in Franklin, Tennessee. She filed this
lawsuit to pursue claims of discrimination and failure to
accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42
U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (“ADA”), as amended
by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”)
(collectively referred to herein as the ADA unless necessary
to distinguish between them). On January 22, 2018, the court
granted the defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment,
denied the plaintiff's Counter Motion for Summary
Judgment, and entered a final Order of dismissal. (Doc. No.
granting the defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, the
court determined, based on the undisputed facts, that: (1)
the plaintiff failed to present direct evidence of disability
discrimination; (2) any delay caused by the employer in
conducting the interactive process required by the ADA for
finding a reasonable accommodation was not, as a matter of
law, unreasonable; (3) the plaintiff abandoned the
interactive process and withdrew her request for an
accommodation, thus mooting her claim based on failure to
accommodate; and (4) the plaintiff failed to allege any other
form of discrimination based on a disability under the ADA,
other than the alleged failure to accommodate. (Doc. No. 25,
at 10-11.) The court incorporates herein the factual
background contained in the Memorandum accompanying the Order
of dismissal. (Doc. No. 25.)
entry of Judgment, the plaintiff filed her timely Rule 59(e)
motion, asserting that there has been an intervening or
“recent” change in the law, that she is in
possession of newly discovered evidence that requires setting
aside the Order of dismissal, and that the Order of dismissal
must be set aside to prevent manifest injustice. In the
alternative, she seeks to reopen the case to conduct further
discovery, arguing that she was “actively seeking
discovery at the time of the dismissal.” (Doc. No. 28,
at 2.) Most of the parties' briefing, in fact, concerns
the tangential matter of the plaintiff's desire to reopen
the case to take additional discovery and her efforts to take
such additional discovery prior to dismissal of this case.
Besides disputing the plaintiff's claim that she is
entitled to additional discovery, the defendant contends that
the plaintiff has not satisfied any of the requirements for
relief under Rule 59(e).
Standard of Review
Rule 59, a court may alter or amend a judgment based on: (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. Leisure Caviar, LLC v. U.S.
Fish & Wildlife Serv., 616 F.3d 612, 615 (6th Cir.
2010); Roger Miller Music, Inc. v. Sony/ATV Publ'g,
LLC, 477 F.3d 383, 395 (6th Cir. 2007); Intera Corp.
v. Henderson, 428 F.3d 605, 620 (6th Cir. 2005).
a motion under Rule 59(e) is not a vehicle for presenting new
legal arguments that could have been raised before a judgment
was issued. Roger Miller Music, 477 F.3d at 395;
see also Leisure Caviar, 616 F.3d at 616 (noting
that a movant “cannot use a Rule 59 motion to raise
arguments which could, and should, have been made before
judgment issued”). Critically, “[a] motion under
Rule 59(e) is not an opportunity to reargue a case.”
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians v.
Engler, 146 F.3d 367, 374 (6th Cir. 1998). Likewise, a
Rule 59(e) motion “should not be utilized to submit
evidence which could have been previously submitted in the
exercise of reasonable diligence.” Kenneth Henes
Special Projects Procurement v. Cont'l Biomass
Indus., 86 F.Supp.2d 721, 726 (E.D. Mich. 2000)
grant or denial of a Rule 59(e) motion is within the informed
discretion of the district court, reversible only for
abuse.” Scotts Co. v. Cent. Garden & Pet
Co., 403 F.3d 781, 788 (6th Cir. 2005) (citation and
internal quotation marks omitted), abrogated on other
grounds, Allied Indus. Scrap, Inc. v. OmniSource
Corp., 776 F.3d 452 (6th Cir. 2015).
Intervening Change in the Law
plaintiff insists that there has been an “intervening
change in controlling law, that is so recent that it created
a clear error of law in the dismissal.” (Doc. No. 29,
at 3.) The case to which she cites in support of this
argument, however, was decided on September 1, 2017.
Watford v. Jefferson Cnty. Pub. Sch., 870 F.3d 448
(6th Cir. Sept. 1, 2017), reh'g denied (Oct. 20,
2017), reh'g en banc denied (Nov. 9, 2017). The
plaintiff's Response to the defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment and her own Counter Motion (Doc. No. 21)
were filed on December 5, 2017, three months after the
initial decision was rendered and almost a month after the
denial of rehearing en banc.
even if the court assumes that Watford markedly
changed the legal landscape, it does not constitute an
intervening change in controlling law for purposes
of Rule 59(e). It was issued before briefing in this case was
completed and well before the Order of dismissal was entered.
The plaintiff, therefore, has not shown that ...