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Pierce-Schmader v. Mount Airy Casino & Resort

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

February 20, 2015



JAMES M. MUNLEY, District Judge.

Before the court for disposition is Plaintiff Michelle Pierce-Schmader's motion for reconsideration of the court's entry of summary judgment in favor of her former employer, Defendant Mount Airy Casino and Resort. The matter is ripe for disposition.


Plaintiff began working as a cocktail server for the defendant in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, in September 2007. (Doc. 8, Am. Compl. (hereinafter "Am. Compl.") ¶ 4). Several years later, plaintiff's employment ended as part of a settlement of a workers' compensation case wherein she agreed to voluntarily resign her position. (Id. ¶ 37). Even though plaintiff voluntarily submitted her resignation, she believes that defendant committed discriminatory actions against her during the course of her employment. (Id. ¶ 41).

Accordingly, plaintiff filed a four-count employment discrimination lawsuit. Count I of the amended complaint alleged racial discrimination, nationality discrimination and disability discrimination in violation of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, 43 PA. STAT. ANN. § 951, et seq. (Id. ¶¶ 53-59). Count II alleged a violation of the Americans with Disability Act (hereinafter "ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. (Id. ¶¶ 60-64). Count III was brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and alleged unlawful discrimination in the making and enforcement of contracts. (Id. ¶¶ 64-75). Count IV asserted a violation of Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e). (Id. ¶¶ 76-79).

Plaintiff originally filed her complaint in the Monroe County Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas. The defendant filed a notice of removal, bringing the case to this court on April 29, 2013. (Doc. 1, Not. of Rem.). Defendant then filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. (Doc. 6). In response to the motion to dismiss, plaintiff filed an amended complaint. (Doc. 8).

Defendant then moved to dismiss the amended complaint for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and also moved to strike. (Doc. 10). The court granted the motion to dismiss in part and denied it in part. (Doc. 14, Memo. & Order dated Sept. 11, 2013 at 17).

Subsequently, defendant filed an answer and the parties proceeded through discovery. At the end of the discovery period, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. The court granted the defendant's motion on November 20, 2014 and entered judgment in favor of the defendant. (Doc. 36). On November 30, 2014, plaintiff filed the instant motion for reconsideration bringing the case to its present posture.


As this case was brought pursuant to various federal statutes for unlawful employment discrimination, we have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 ("The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States."). We have supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiff's state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

Legal Standard

Plaintiff has filed a motion for us to reconsider our summary judgment decision. "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, 799 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir.1985); Max's Seafood Cafe ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). The movant must demonstrate one of three grounds in order for such a motion to be granted: (1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence not previously available; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice. Max's Seafood Cafe, 176 F.3d at 677. A motion for reconsideration is not a proper vehicle to merely attempt to convince the court to rethink a decision it has already made. Glendon Energy Co. v. Borough of Glendon, 836 F.Supp. 1109, 1122 (E.D. Pa. 1993).


In the instant case, plaintiff does not allege a change in controlling law or the availability of new evidence. Rather, she argues that a clear error of law needs to be corrected. Plaintiff alleges that she should be permitted to go to trial based upon the evidence she has presented. Specifically she asserts that prior to instituting the instant action, she filed a charge of improper employment practices with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (hereinafter "PHRC"). She presented this "charge" in opposition to the defendant's motion for summary judgment and argues that the allegations contained therein are sufficient ...

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