The opinion of the court was delivered by: Rambo, District Judge.
Before the court are the following motions: (1) Defendants'
April 9, 1999 motion to alter or amend the court's March 26, 1999
memorandum opinion addressing the parties' cross-motions for
summary judgment;*fn1 (2) Plaintiff's April 9, 1999 motion for
reconsideration of the Memorandum Opinion; (3) Defendants' July
26, 1999 motion for reconsideration of the Memorandum Opinion;
and (4) Plaintiff's August 11, 1999 "cross motion for summary
judgment on the issue of disability." The parties have briefed
the issues, and the matter is ripe for disposition.
The instant case is an employment discrimination action.
Plaintiff John A. Rowles instituted this action by filing a
three-count complaint alleging that Defendants Automated
Production Systems, Inc. ("APS") and William Donohue terminated
his employment in violation of the Americans with Disabilities
Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (Count I) and the
Pennsylvania Human Relations Act ("PHRA"), 43 Pa.C.S.A. §§
951-963 (Count II), and tortiously invaded his privacy (Count
III). Plaintiff's PHRA claim was dismissed by the court on August
13, 1998, pursuant to Defendants' Rule 12(b) motion.
After completion of discovery, Defendants filed a motion
seeking summary judgment on Counts I and III. Plaintiff filed a
motion for partial summary judgment on Count I, seeking a ruling
that Defendants' drug and alcohol abuse policy is a violation of
the ADA. On March 26, 1999 the court issued a memorandum and
order ruling on the parties' cross-motions. The court denied
Defendants' motion in its entirety. However, the court granted in
part and denied in part Plaintiffs motion, stating as follows:
(b) The motion is denied with respect to
[Plaintiff's] claim that APS's drug and alcohol abuse
policy's mandatory disclosure requirement violates
(Rowles v. Automated Prod. Sys., Inc. et al., Civil No.
1:CV-98-0707 (M.D.Pa. March 26, 1999) (Doc. 42) at 33.)*fn2
On April 1, 1999 the court held a pretrial conference with the
parties in anticipation of holding trial during the month of
April 1999. However, pursuant to Plaintiff's request, the trial
was taken off the April 1999 list and placed on the October 1999
Defendants filed a motion on April 9, 1999 seeking to alter or
amend the court's order granting partial summary judgment in
favor of Plaintiff. On the same date, Plaintiff filed a motion
for reconsideration of the court's order denying, in part, his
motion for partial summary judgment. The briefing on the parties'
initial motions for reconsideration was thus completed on May 24,
On July 26, 1999, in response to the United States Supreme
Court's June 22, 1999 decision in the case of Sutton v. United
Air Lines, Inc., 527 U.S. 471, 119 S.Ct. 2139, 144 L.Ed.2d 450
(1999), Defendants filed an additional motion for reconsideration
of the court's March 26, 1999 Memorandum Opinion, seeking summary
judgment on the issue of whether Plaintiff has a disability which
is protected under the ADA. Plaintiff then responded on August
11, 1999 by filing a brief in opposition and a cross-motion for
reconsideration on the issue of disability.
By order dated August 27, 1999 the court removed the instant
case from the October 1999 trial list, and indicated that a new
scheduling order would issue, if necessary, upon resolution of
the parties' motions. Defendants filed a supplemental memorandum
in support of their motion on November 29, 1999, and by letter
dated January 20, 2000, Plaintiff directed the court's attention
to additional case law supporting his position with regard to the
The undisputed factual background was set forth by the court in
the Memorandum Opinion. (Mem.Op. at 1-7.) Therefore, in the
interest of brevity, the court will incorporate that portion of
its memorandum by reference.
II. Legal Standard: Motion for Reconsideration
"The purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to correct
manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered
evidence." Harsco v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir.
1985) (citation omitted). Therefore, a court may properly grant a
party's motion for reconsideration in any of the following
circumstances: "(1) the development of an intervening change in
the law, (2) the emergence of new evidence not previously
available, or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or
prevent a manifest injustice." Cohen v. Austin, 869 F. Supp. 320,
321 (E.D.Pa. 1994) (citations omitted).
The court will first address Defendants' July 26, 1999 motion
for reconsideration, regarding the issue of whether Plaintiff is
sufficiently disabled so as to be entitled to the protection of
the ADA in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Sutton,
527 U.S. 471, 119 S.Ct. 2139, 144 L.Ed.2d 450. The court ...