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United States Fire Insurance Co. v. Kelman Bottles LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

June 27, 2014

UNITED STATES FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff, and Counterclaim Defendant,
v.
KELMAN BOTTLES LLC and KELMAN GLASS, LLC, Defendants, Counterclaim Plaintiffs and Third Party Plaintiffs,
v.
CONTINENTAL CASUALTY COMPANY, Third Party Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION DENYING THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF THE COURT'S OPINION AND ORDER (DOC. NOS. 206-207), GRANTING, IN PART, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT

D. MICHAEL FISHER, Circuit Judge.

Before the Court is the motion for reconsideration filed by Third-Party Plaintiffs Kelman Bottles and Kelman Glass, LLC ("Kelman"). The motion challenges the Court's opinion and order (doc. nos. 206-07) granting in part and denying in part the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment filed by Third-Party Defendant Continental Casualty Company ("CNA"). For the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny Kelman's motion for reconsideration.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

United States Fire Company ("U.S. Fire"), filed this lawsuit seeking a declaration that it did not have to provide insurance coverage under an all-risk policy it issued to Kelman. Kelman filed Counterclaims against U.S. Fire and also filed a Third-Party Complaint against CNA alleging both U.S. Fire and CNA breached their respective insurance contracts and violated Pennsylvania's bad faith statute in doing so. U.S. Fire and Kelman settled their disputes on December 20, 2013. Thus, the only remaining claims are those filed by Kelman against CNA.

Kelman filed its First Amended Third Party Complaint against CNA on December 12, 2013, alleging that: (1) CNA breached its insurance contract by denying Kelman coverage under the equipment breakdown policy, and (2) CNA violated Pennsylvania's Bad Faith Statute, 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. ยง8371, in doing so. On April 25, 2014, CNA filed a Partial Motion for Summary Judgment arguing, inter alia, that Kelman failed to adduce evidence from which a jury could conclude that CNA did not have a reasonable basis for denying Kelman benefits under the policy, and that CNA knew of or recklessly disregarded its lack of a reasonable basis in denying Kelman's claim.

The Court agreed with CNA's position with respect to the bad faith claim; and, after discussing the evidence presented by Kelman, concluded as follows:

... [N]o genuine issue of material fact exists concerning whether CNA had a reasonable basis to deny coverage to Kelman, and thus, because CNA had a reasonable basis to deny the claim, Kelman cannot meet the first prong [of] the bad faith test.

See Memorandum Opinion dated May 23, 2014, doc. no. 206, p. 21. Accordingly, the Court granted that portion of CNA's Partial Summary Judgment Motion pertaining to the bad faith claim. Doc. no. 207.

On June 5, 2014, Chief Judge Theodore A. McKee, Chief Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, designated the undersigned to try this matter. Doc. no. 244. On June 6, 2014, Kelman filed the instant motion asking the Court to reconsider its decision to dismiss Kelman's bad faith claim against CNA. Doc. nos. 249-250. CNA filed a timely response. Doc. no. 273. The matter is now ripe for adjudication.

II. Discussion

A. Standard of Review

The purpose of a Motion for Reconsideration "is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.'" Howard Hess Dental Labs. Inc. v. Dentsply Int'l, Inc., 602 F.3d 237, 251 (3d Cir. 2010) (quoting Max's Seafood Cafe by Lou Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)). Generally, a Motion for Reconsideration will only be granted on one of the following three grounds: (1) if there has been an intervening change in controlling law; (2) if new evidence, which was not previously available, has become available; or (3) if it is necessary to correct a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice. Id. (citing Max's Seafood Cafe, 176 F.3d at 677). A court may not grant a Motion for Reconsideration when the motion simply restyles or rehashes issues previously presented. Pahler v. City of Wilkes-Barre, 207 F.Supp.2d 341, 355 (M.D. Pa. 2001). A motion for reconsideration "addresses only factual and legal matters that the Court may have overlooked.... It is improper on a motion for reconsideration to ask the Court to rethink what [it] had already thought through-rightly or wrongly." Glendon Energy Co. v. Borough of Glendon, 836 F.Supp. 1109, 1122 (E.D. Pa. 1993) (internal citation and ...


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