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Bronson v. Lasky

June 3, 2008

PURCELL BRONSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARTIN LASKY, D.O.; WILLIAM YOUNG, M.D.; P.A. NEWFIELD, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Caputo

MAGISTRATE JUDGE SMYSER

MEMORANDUM

Presently before the Court are Defendants' motions for reconsideration (Doc. 166, 168) of the Court's February 14, 2008 Order (Doc. 165), granting in part and denying in part Defendants' motions for summary judgment. (Docs. 87, 102.) For the reasons stated below, the Defendants' motions to reconsider will be denied.

The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 ("federal question").

BACKGROUND

A detailed analysis of the factual background involved in this matter is contained within the Court's February 14, 2008 Memorandum and Order (Doc. 165), and therefore is not required to be repeated in its entirety. Only the relevant facts will be discussed here.

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed the Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on March 14, 2005. (Doc. 1.) On May 2, 2005, the Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint.

(Doc. 13.) On April 11, 2007, and May 30, 2007, the Defendants filed motions for summary judgment. (Docs. 87, 102.) On September 18, 2007 Magistrate Judge Smyser issued a Report and Recommendation (Doc. 134), recommending that the Defendants' motions for summary judgment be granted in part and denied in part. Defendants filed their objections to the Report and Recommendation on September 26 and 27, 2007. (Docs. 137, 140.) The Court adopted in part and rejected in part Judge Smyser's Report and Recommendation on February 14, 2008, granting in part and denying in part the Defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 165.) Two (2) counts remain in this case - one count based upon racial discrimination and one count based upon First Amendment retaliation.

Defendants filed the present motions for reconsideration of the February 14, 2008 Order on February 25, 2008 and February 28, 2008, requesting that the Court reconsider the denial of their motion on the counts for racial discrimination and First Amendment retaliation. (Docs. 166, 168.) Plaintiff failed to respond to or oppose the motions. The motions are ripe for discussion.

LEGAL STANDARD

A motion for reconsideration is governed by Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which allows a party to move to alter or amend a judgment within ten days of entry. FED. R. CIV. P. 59(e). The purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence. Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir.1985). A judgment may be altered or amended if the party seeking reconsideration establishes at least one of the following grounds: "(1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court granted the motion for summary judgment; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice." Max's Seafood Café, by Lou-Ann, Inc., v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir.1999). "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." Ogden v. Keystone Residence, 226 F. Supp.2d 588, 606 (M.D. Pa. 2002). "[R]econsideration motions may not be used to raise new arguments or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment." Hill v. Tammac Corp., Civ. A. No. 05-1148, 2006 WL 529044, at *2 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 3, 2006). Lastly, the reconsideration of a judgment is an extraordinary remedy, and such motions should be granted sparingly. D'Angio v. Borough of Nescopeck, 56 F. Supp.2d 502, 504 (M.D. Pa. 1999).

DISCUSSION

I. Racial Discrimination

Plaintiff Bronson asserts a claim of racial discrimination against Defendants Burks, Kelchner, Taggert, Young, Lasky, and Newfield. The Defendants argue that it would be a manifest error of law and fact to permit the Plaintiff to go to trial on the racial discrimination claim. Defendants claim that there is ...


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