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Westerman v. General Nutrition Corp.

March 5, 2007

LESLIE J. WESTERMAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GENERAL NUTRITION CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ambrose, Chief District Judge.

OPINION and ORDER

SYNOPSIS

Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration of my Opinion and Order dated January 30, 2007 ("January 30 Opinion"), granting partial summary judgment against Plaintiff on her ADEA claim. Plaintiff, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 59, contends that the January 30 Opinion contains several errors of law and fact.

Plaintiff raises three arguments that fall neatly into two broad categories: First, she asserts that evidence regarding the relative duties and titles of Plaintiff and Jennifer Foster, a retained employee, could allow the factfinder to infer discriminatory animus, and that I erred in concluding otherwise; and also that I erred in viewing each piece of age-related evidence in isolation, rather than viewing them as a totality, which would likewise have lead to the conclusion that a reasonable factfinder could determine illegal motivation.

In addition to opposing Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration, Defendant has filed a Motion to Strike the Plaintiff's Motion.

I have carefully considered the parties' arguments, and will address them in turn. For the following reasons, both Motions will be denied.

OPINION

I. Defendant's Motion to Strike

I first address Defendant's Motion to Strike Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration. Defendant's Motion is premised on Plaintiff's failure to file a supporting Brief. Defendant has been able to formulate a response to Plaintiff's Motion, and I find that no significant prejudice has occurred. Although I do not condone failures to comply with court practices and procedures, it would not be in the interest of justice at this juncture to strike Plaintiff's Motion. I will, therefore, deny Defendant's Motion, and will consider the substance of Plaintiff's contentions.

II. Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration

A. Standard of Review

A motion for reconsideration is intended, inter alia, to correct manifest errors of law or fact. Max's Seafood Cafe v. Max Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). Therefore, a previous decision may be altered or amended only if the party seeking reconsideration establishes, for example, the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice.*fn1 Id. Moreover, motions for reconsideration are to be granted sparingly. Continental Cas. Co. v. Diversified Indus., Inc., 884 F. Supp. 937, 943 (E.D. Pa. 1995).

B. Plaintiff's Motion

Initially, I note that Plaintiff does not seek reconsideration of my finding that she failed to establish pretext by discrediting Defendant's explanation for the outsourcing. Instead, her challenges relate solely to my determination that the evidence adduced regarding age discrimination could not lead a reasonable jury to conclude that age was more likely than not a motivating or determinative cause of her termination. In other words, her Motion is ...


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