United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
April 28, 2004.
AMERICAN HEARING AID ASSOCIATES, INC., Plaintiff,
GN ReSOUND NORTH AMERICA, t/a GN ReSOUND CORPORATION, Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBERT KELLY, Senior District Judge
AND NOW, this 28th day of April, 2004, upon consideration
of Plaintiff's Motion to Alter or Amend the Judgment and to
Postpone Further Deliberations on Attorneys' Fees (Doc. No. 54),
and the Response thereto, the Court notes the following:
1. Plaintiff filed this Motion with regard to this Court's
March 22, 2004 Memorandum and Order granting Defendant's Motion
for Summary Judgment. Plaintiff's Motion to Alter or Amend the
Judgment (Motion for Reconsideration) requests that this Court
reconsider and vacate the March 22, 2004 Judgment and Order.
Moreover, Plaintiff requests that this Court postpone any further
consideration of Defendant's attorneys' fees request pending
resolution of an appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit ("Third Circuit").
2. A motion for reconsideration is appropriate only where: (1)
there has been an intervening change in controlling law; (2) new
evidence is available; or (3) there is need to correct a clear
error of law or prevent manifest injustice. N. River Ins. Co. v.
CIGNA Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995). "The
purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to correct manifest
errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence."
Drysdale v. Woerth, 153 F. Supp.2d 678, 682 (E.D. Pa. 2001)
(citation omitted). Additionally, "[b]ecause federal courts have
a strong interest in the finality of judgments, motions for reconsideration should be granted sparingly." Id.
3. In this case, Plaintiff does not contend that it has new
evidence or that there has been a change in the controlling law.
The alleged basis for Plaintiff's Motion is that this Court's
March 22, 2003 Memorandum and Order granting summary judgment for
the Defendant contained errors of law that have created a
manifest injustice to Plaintiff. Specifically, Plaintiff claims
that this Court committed errors of law in interpreting
California law when it granted summary judgment in favor of the
Defendant concerning Plaintiff's claims for breach of contract
and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair
4. For the most part, through this Motion, Plaintiff reasserts
the same arguments that it made at the summary judgment stage of
this litigation. In fact, Plaintiff cites many of the same cases
in this Motion that this Court considered and cited in granting
summary judgment in favor of the Defendant. The new cases that
Plaintiff cites do not persuade this Court to amend its previous
analysis or vacate its March 22, 2003 decision concerning the
causes of action at issue in the instant Motion.*fn1
5. With regard to the express breach of contract claim, summary
judgment in favor of the Defendant was appropriate because
Plaintiff failed (and still fails) to direct this Court to any
contractual provision that was breached by the Defendant's
conduct. Moreover, in relation to the breach of the implied
covenant of good faith and fair dealing claim, summary judgment
in favor of the Defendant was appropriate because Plaintiff's
claim attempted to impose limits on Defendant's conduct in a
manner not reflected in the contract at issue in this case. As
the California Supreme Court has noted (and was emphasized by
this Court in the March 22, 2004 Memorandum), this covenant cannot "be endowed with an existence
independent of its contractual underpinnings." Guz v. Bechtel
Nat'l Inc., 8 P.3d 1089, 1110 (Cal. 2000) (citations omitted).
In other words, as stressed by this Court in the March 22, 2004
Memorandum, California law is clear that the covenant "cannot
impose substantive duties or limits on the contracting parties
beyond those incorporated in the specific terms of the
6. Based on the foregoing, this Court finds that there is no
clear errors of law that need to be corrected regarding the March
22, 2004 Memorandum and Order. Further, this Court will not
postpone further deliberations concerning Defendant's attorneys'
fees, notwithstanding a potential appeal to the Third Circuit.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that:
7. Plaintiff's Motion to Alter or Amend the Judgment and to
Postpone Further Deliberations on Attorneys' Fees (Doc. No. 54)
8. Plaintiff shall respond to Defendant's Petition for Fees and
Costs (Doc. No. 55) within fifteen (15) days from the date of