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UPMC v. CBIZ, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

May 7, 2018

UPMC d/b/a UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH MEDICAL CENTER, and UPMC ALTOONA f/k/a ALTOONA REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM, Plaintiffs,
v.
CBIZ, INC., CBIZ BENEFITS & INSURANCES SERVICES, INC., and JON S. KETZNER, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          KIM R. GIBSON, JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Limited Reconsideration of the March 29, 2018 Order. (ECF No. 107, errata ECF No. 116). Plaintiffs' Motion has been fully briefed (see ECF Nos. 107, 114, 115, 116) and is ripe for disposition.

         Plaintiffs' instant Motion asks this Court to reconsider its Memorandum Opinion and Order of March 29, 2018. See UPMC v. CBIZ, Inc., No. 3:16-cv-204, 2018 WL 1542423 (W.D. Pa. Mar. 29, 2018) (Gibson, J.). This Order of March 29, 2018 required that Plaintiffs produce all documents and communications in response to CBIZ's discovery requests numbered 106, 107, and 109-112. See Id. at*10.

         Plaintiffs argue that reconsideration of this Order is warranted because - despite Plaintiffs' prior failure to establish the applicability of the attorney-client privilege and/or the work-product doctrine when Plaintiffs opposed the Motion to Compel (ECF No. 75) filed by Defendants CBIZ, Inc., CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services, Inc., and Jon S. Ketzner (collectively "CBIZ") -that "manifest injustice" would result from the production of certain privileged communications in response to CBIZ's discovery requests 109 and 110. (See generally ECF No. 107, errata ECF No. 116.) Plaintiffs have produced responses to all other discovery required by this Court's Order of March 29, 2018, i.e., discovery requests 106, 107, 111, and 112. (See ECF No. 107, errata ECF No. 116.) Only discovery requests 109 and 110 are relevant for the present Motion for Reconsideration. (See ECF No. 107, errata ECF No. 116.)

         The Court is hesitant to reconsider this matter, especially given that this Court expressly ordered Plaintiffs to adequately argue and support their claim of privilege and provided Plaintiffs with ample opportunity to make such arguments. (See ECF Nos. 75-1, 78, 80, 83, 86, 87, 89, 92, 93, 94, 97, 99, 100, 103.) However, in their Motion for Reconsideration and documents submitted to this Court for in camera review, Plaintiffs have now convincingly demonstrated to this Court that the attorney-client privilege and/or the work-product doctrine applies to most of the communications sought by CBIZ. Furthermore, the Court agrees with Plaintiffs that the compelled production of these communications would result in a manifest injustice that would unfairly penalize Plaintiffs for the mistakes of their counsel and would undeservedly infringe upon the fundamental protections of the attorney-client privilege.

         Accordingly, because this Court agrees that most of the communications in question are protected by the attorney-client privilege and/or the work-product doctrine, Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration (ECF No. 107, errata ECF No. 116) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

         Specifically, in regard to CBIZ's discovery requests number 109 and number 110, Plaintiffs need only produce ten documents-identified herein and in the Order accompanying this Memorandum Opinion -to CBIZ from those provided to this Court for in camera review.

         II. Jurisdiction and Venue

         UPMC is a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation with its principal place of business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (ECF No. 81 ¶ 1.) UPMC Altoona is likewise a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation, with its principal place of business in Altoona, Pennsylvania. (Id. ¶ 2.) Plaintiffs allege that CBIZ, Inc. is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Cleveland, Ohio, that CBIZ B&I is a Missouri corporation, and that Ketzner resides in Maryland. (Id. ¶¶ 4-7.) Plaintiffs seek damages "well over" $100 million. (Id. at 10.) Thus, this case is between citizens of different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. This Court, therefore, has subject-matter jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1).

         Because a substantial part of the alleged events giving rise to Plaintiffs' claims occurred within the Western District of Pennsylvania, venue is proper in this district under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2).

         III. Legal Standard for Reconsideration of the March 29, 2018 Order

          "A motion for reconsideration is a limited vehicle used 'to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.'" ]nckson v. City of Philadelphia, 535 Fed.Appx. 64, 69 (3d Cir. 2013) (quoting Max's Seafood Cafe ex ret. Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)). "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 for summary judgment; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice." U.S. ex rel. Schumann v. Astrazeneca Phnrm. L.P., 769 F.3d 837, 848-49 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Max's Seafood Cafe, 176 F.3d at 677) (internal quotation marks omitted).

         "Motions for reconsideration are not designed to provide litigants with a 'second bite at the apple.'" Cole's Wexford Hotel, Inc. v. UPMC & Highmark Inc., No. CV 10-1609, 2017 WL 432947, at *2 (W.D. Pa. Feb. 1, 2017) (quoting Bhatnagar v. Surrendra Overseas Ltd., 52 F.3d 1220, 1231 (3d Cir. 1995)). "A motion for reconsideration is not to be used to relitigate, or 'rehash, ' issues the court already decided, or to ask a district court to rethink a decision it, rightly or wrongly, already made." Cole's Wexford Hotel, 2017 WL 432947, at *2 (citing Williams v. City of Pittsburgh, 32 F.Supp.2d 236, 238 (W.D. Pa. 1998)). "By reason of the interest in finality, at least at the district court level, motions for reconsideration should be sparingly granted." Cole's Wexford Hotel, 2017 WL 432947, at *1.

          IV. Discussion

         All of Plaintiffs' arguments and the basis for this Court's present decision fall exclusively under the third ground upon which a motion for reconsideration can be granted, i.e., "the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice." Astrazeneca, 769 F.3d at 848-49 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Max's Seafood, 176 F.3d at 677); sec also Cessna v. REA Energy Coop., Inc., No. 3;16-cv-42, 2018 WL 816844, at *2 (W.D. Pa. Feb. 9, 2018) (Gibson, J.). As stated supra, this Court holds that this third basis for granting a motion for reconsideration applies in the present ...


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