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Lewis v. Atlas Van Lines

May 30, 2007

RICHARD J. LEWIS AND PATRICIA A. LEWIS, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ATLAS VAN LINES, INC. DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Jones

MEMORANDUM

THE BACKGROUND OF THIS MEMORANDUM IS AS FOLLOWS

Pending before the Court Defendant Atlas Van Lines, Inc.'s Motion for Reconsideration, or, in the Alternative, Motion for Entry of Final Order to Permit Filing of Interlocutory Appeal ("the Motion") (doc. 20) filed on February 8, 2007.

For the following reasons, the Motion will be granted.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On January 30, 2007, this Court issued a Memorandum and Order ruling that the Carmack Amendment, 49 U.S.C. § 14706, did not control the type of injuries sustained by the Plaintiffs as a result of the Defendant's conduct and denying the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

Following the entry of our January 30, 2007 Memorandum and Order, the Defendant filed the pending Motion, arguing that the Court committed a clear error of law in holding that the Carmack Amendment was inapplicable to the case sub judice. The Motion has been fully briefed by the parties and is therefore ripe for our review.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Motions for reconsideration should be granted sparingly as federal courts have a strong interest in the finality of judgments. Burger King Corp. v. New England Hood & Duct Cleaning Co., 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1022, at *2 (E.D. Pa. 2000). "The purpose of a motion for reconsideration . . . is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence." Max's Seafood Café v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999) (quoting Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 476 U.S. 1171 (1986)). "Accordingly, a judgment may be altered or amended if the party seeking reconsideration shows at least one of the following grounds: (1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court granted the motion; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice." Id. (citing North River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995)). "A motion for reconsideration is not to be used as a means to reargue matters already argued and disposed of or as an attempt to relitigate a point of disagreement between the Court and the litigant." Abu-Jamal v. Horn, 2001 WL 1609761, at *9 (E.D. Pa. 2001).

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs Richard J. and Patricia A. Lewis ("Plaintiffs") entered into a contract to sell their residence at 3143 Seaks Run Road, Glen Rock, York County, Pennsylvania, with a settlement to be held before August 27, 2004. The sales agreement provided that the Plaintiffs would deliver "a vacant building" at the time of the closing. In order to transport their household possessions from their home in Pennsylvania to their new home in New York, the Plaintiffs entered into a contract with Warners Moving and Storage ("Warners"), an agent of the Defendant with Defendant Atlas Van Lines, Inc. ("Atlas"). Warner was to box the household belongings of the Plaintiffs, load the same on one or more appropriate motor vehicles, and deliver the same to the Plaintiffs' new residence in Alpine, New York.

A letter memorializing this agreement, dated July 27, 2004, was issued and executed by a sales representative of Warners. In pertinent part, the letter agreement provided as follows:

This letter is to confirm that Warners Moving and Storage will arrive at your home on 8/23 & 8/24 to box the household belongings with loading the household effects on 8/25 & 8/26. Delivery is scheduled for 8/31 or 9/1. (Rec. Doc. 1, Ex. 2).

Plaintiffs allege that pursuant to the contract, packers from Warners appeared on August 23 and 24, 2004 and boxed up the household belongings. At approximately 12:00 noon on August 25, 2004, Warners delivered a moving van to the Plaintiffs' Pennsylvania residence and Warners engaged in loading household belongings into the van until 5:00 p.m., at which time Warners advised the Plaintiffs that the moving van would be taken back to Warners' place of business ...


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