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Pride Mobility Products Corp. v. Dylewski

April 17, 2009

PRIDE MOBILITY PRODUCTS CORP., PLAINTIFF,
v.
BRYAN DYLEWSKI, DEFENDANT AND THIRD PARTY PLAINTIFF,
v.
INVACARE CORP., MOBILITY PRODUCTS UNLIMITED, LLC, JOHN WARD AND THOMAS DONAHUE, THIRD PARTY DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: A. Richard Caputo United States District Judge

(JUDGE CAPUTO)

MEMORANDUM

Two motions are presently before the Court, Third Party Plaintiff Bryan Dylewski's Amended Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. 59) and Amended Motion to Amend/Correct Third Party Claims (Doc. 60). For the reasons detailed below, the Court will deny both motions.

The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

BACKGROUND

On January 22, 2008, Pride Mobility Products Corporation ("Pride"), a Pennsylvania corporation, filed a complaint against Mobility Products Unlimited, LLC ("MPU"), a Florida limited liability company, and John and Teresa M. Ward, citizens of Florida. (Pride Mobility Complaint, Doc. 30, Ex. A.) Pride's January 22, 2008 Complaint, presented four claims including (1) breach of contract by MPU (Count I), (2) unjust enrichment by MPU (Count II), (3) breach of Guaranty and Suretyship Agreement by John Ward (Count III), and (4) breach of Guaranty and Suretyship Agreement by Teresa M. Ward (Count IV). (Pride Mobility Complaint, Doc. 30, Ex. A.) On February 5, 2008, Pride filed a Complaint in a second action naming Bryan Dylewski, also a Florida citizen, as Defendant. (Doc. 1.) The February 5, 2008 Complaint presents a single count against Bryan Dylewski for a breach of the Guaranty and Suretyship Agreement and seeks a judgment in the amount of one million thirty-two thousand, nine hundred seventeen dollars and ninety-one cents ($1,032,917.91).

On April 30, 2008, Bryan Dylewski filed an Answer, Affirmative Defenses, and Third Party Claim. (Doc. 8.) In this document, Dylewski responds to the allegations in Pride's February 5, 2008 Complaint, provides five (5) affirmative defenses, and initiates a third party claim against MPU, John Ward, Thomas Donahue, and Invacare Corporation ("Invacare"). (Id. ¶¶ 8-13.)

On May 6, 2008, Pride filed a Motion to Consolidate the cases involving MPU, John and Teresa M. Ward, and Bryan Dylewski. (Doc. 9.) The Court granted this motion in an Order dated June 20, 2008. (Doc. 20.) While Plaintiff's consolidation motion was pending before the Court, on June 18, 2008, Third Party Defendant Invacare Corporation filed a Motion to Dismiss Dylewski's Third Party Complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(5) & (6) and a Motion to Strike pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(a). On July 28, 2008, Third Party Defendants Mobility Products Unlimited and John Ward filed a Motion to Dismiss Dylewski's Third Party Complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) & (6). (Doc. 29.)

On January 27, 2009, this Court entered a Memorandum and Order (Doc. 55) granting both motions to dismiss. As the result of this order, the Court dismissed, without prejudice, Counts I and II of Dylewski's Third Party Complaint as they pertained to Mobility Products and John Ward and Counts V, VI and VII of Dylewski's Third Party Complaint as they pertained to Mobility Products, John Ward, and Thomas Donahue. The Court also dismissed Counts I, II, III, IV and V of Dylewski's Third Party Complaint with respect to Invacare Corporation.

On February 4, 2009, Dylewski filed both a Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. 56) and a Motion to Amend/Correct the Third Party Complaint (Doc. 57). On February 6, 2009, the Court entered an Order (Doc. 58) striking these motions for failure to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(a), unless each motion was signed by an attorney of record before February 17, 2009. On February 10, 2009, Dylewski filed the current, amended versions of each motion (Docs. 59, 60). On February 20, 2009, the parties filed a Stipulation (Doc. 61) with the Court, stating that Dylewski did not plan to file separate, supporting briefs in conjunction with his amended motions and that the fifteen (15) day time period for filing opposition briefs, as established by Middle District of Pennsylvania Local Rule 7.6, would commence as of the date of the Stipulation. On March 6, 2009, all Third Party Defendants filed briefs in opposition (Docs. 62-65) to Dylewski's two amended motions, and on March 17, 2009 Dylewski filed his briefs in reply (Docs. 67-70). As Dylewski's two motions have been thoroughly briefed by all parties, they are currently ripe for disposition.

LEGAL STANDARD

I. Reconsideration

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 . . . ; 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).

II. Motion to Amend Pleadings

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a), "a party may amend the party's pleadings . . . by leave of court . . . and leave shall be freely given when justice so requires." FED. R. CIV. P. 15(a). It is within the sound discretion of the trial court to determine whether a party shall have leave to amend pleadings out of time. See Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962); Heyl & Patterson Int'l, Inc. v. F.D. Rich Housing, 663 F.2d 419, 425 (3d Cir. 1981). However, "[i]n the absence of any apparent or declared reason -- such as undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of the allowance of the amendment, futility of the amendment, etc. -- the leave sought should, as the rules require, be 'freely given.'" Foman, 371 U.S. at 182.

In the Third Circuit, the touchstone for the denial of leave to amend is undue prejudice to the non-moving party. Lorenz v. CSX Corp., 1 F.3d 1406, 1413-14 (3d Cir. 1993); Cornell & Co., Inc. v. OSHRC, 573 F.2d 820, 823 (1978). "In the absence of substantial or undue prejudice, denial instead must be based on bad faith or dilatory motives, truly undue or unexplained delay, repeated failures to cure the deficiency by ...


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