United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MALACHY E. MANNION UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Gregory Brown, an inmate currently confined in the Federal
Correctional Institution, Talladega, Alabama, filed the above
captioned Bivens action pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§1331. (Doc. 1). The matter proceeds via
an amended complaint. (Doc. 15). Brown complains of
events which occurred at his former place of confinement, the
Federal Correctional Institution, Schuylkill
(FCI-Schuylkill), Pennsylvania. Id. The named
Defendants are FCI-Schuylkill employees Ellen Mace-Liebson,
Clinical Director and Cynthia Entzel, Associate Warden.
Id. Specifically, Brown contends that while housed
at SCI-Schuylkill, Defendants were deliberately indifferent
to his serious medical needs. Id. For relief,
Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as
injunctive relief for “the actions of Defendants
Mace-Liebson and Entzel in the delay and/or denial of
Brown's medical care [which] has resulted in the
unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain and the possibility
of a life-long handicap or permanent loss.”
Memorandum and Order dated March 15, 2016, Defendant Entzel
was dismissed from the complaint and the action was permitted
to proceed with discovery and the filing of dispositive
motions. (See Docs. 69, 70).
Memorandum and Order dated September 29, 2017, the Court
granted summary judgment in favor of the remaining Defendant,
Dr. Ellen Mace-Liebson and the case was closed. (Docs.
before the Court is Plaintiff's motion to strike
Defendant's declaration in support of her motion for
summary judgment, (Doc. 149) and Plaintiff's
motion for reconsideration. (Doc. 151). The motions
are fully briefed and are ripe for disposition. For the
reasons that follow, Plaintiff's motion to strike and
motion for reconsideration will be denied.
motion for reconsideration is a device of limited utility. It
may be used only to seek remediation for manifest errors of
law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence which, if
discovered previously, might have affected the court's
decision. Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906
(3d Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 476 U.S. 1171 (1986).
Accordingly, a party seeking reconsideration must demonstrate
at least one of the following grounds prior to the court
altering, or amending, a standing judgment: (1) an
intervening change in the 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 v. Quineros, 176 F.3d
669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)(citing North River Ins. Co. v.
CIGNA Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir.
1995)). A motion for reconsideration is appropriate in
instances where the court has “...misunderstood a
party, or has made a decision outside the adversarial issues
presented to the Court by the parties, or has made an error
not of reasoning, but of apprehension.” See
Rohrbach v. AT & T Nassau Metals Corp., 902
F.Supp. 523, 527 (M.D. Pa. 1995), vacated in part on other
grounds on reconsideration, 915 F.Supp. 712 (M.D. Pa. 1996),
quoting Above the Belt, Inc. v. Mel Bohannan Roofing,
Inc., 99 F.R.D. 99, 101 (E.D. Va. 1983). It may not be
used as a means to reargue unsuccessful theories, or argue
new facts or issues that were not presented to the court in
the context of the matter previously decided. Drysdale v.
Woerth, 153 F.Supp.2d 678, 682 (E.D. Pa. 2001).
“Because federal courts have a strong interest in the
finality of judgments, motions for reconsideration should be
granted sparingly.” Continental Casualty Co. v.
Diversified Indus. Inc., 884 F.Supp. 937, 943 (E.D. Pa.
support of his motion for reconsideration, Plaintiff states
that “reconsideration is necessary here, as this motion
asks the Court to address three issues: (1) application of
the law of the case doctrine with regard to Judge Kosik's
March 15, 2016 Memorandum and Order regarding Defendant's
initial motion to dismiss; (2) the propriety of the
Court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant
with regard [to] subjective denial/delay of medical treatment
that took place at FCI-Schuylkill, and (3) whether the
undisputed facts of record supports Defendant's
professional judgment, to allow Brown to unnecessarily suffer
in pain, causing Brown to seek a transfer from FCI-Schuylkill
to receive previously denied medical treatment. (Doc.
amended complaint alleges that Defendants were deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical needs concerning a back
injury he sustained by lifting heavy weights while confined
at FCI-Schuylkill. (Doc. 15).
December 29, 2014, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss and
for summary judgment, (Doc. 29), arguing that Brown
failed to show a deliberate indifference to a serious medical
need, that Defendant Entzel lacked personal involvement in
the alleged constitutional claim and that Defendants were
entitled to qualified immunity. (Doc. 30).
Memorandum and Order dated March 15, 2016, Judge Kosik
construed Defendants motion solely as a motion to dismiss,
dismissed the claims against Defendant Entzel, based on her
lack of personal involvement and found the following with
respect to Defendant Mace-Leibson:
Without passing judgment as to the ultimate success of
Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Mace-Leibson, in
construing the complaint in the light most favorable to
Brown, the court will allow said claims to proceed at this
juncture. The court finds that Brown has at least alleged
sufficient facts in the complaint to allow his claim against
Mace-Leibson to proceed and to permit Brown to conduct
discovery in an attempt to oppose any summary judgment motion
refiled by Mace-Leibson.
(Doc. 69). Because the Court construed the Defendants'
motion solely as a motion to dismiss, it denied Brown's
requests to submit exhibits nunc protunc,
and advised him that he could resubmit them in opposition to
any motion ...