United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
24, 2014, Plaintiffs, family members of decedent Joanne
Rodriguez and the administrator of her estate, commenced this
suit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and included
as a Defendant TriMark Corporation (“TriMark”),
the supplier of the locking mechanism used in the ambulance
that transported Joanne to Temple University Hospital
(“Medic Unit 22”). (Doc. No. 33 ¶¶ 14,
21.) Upon arrival at the hospital, the door locking
actuator failed, trapping Joanne and her unborn son
inside the ambulance for a matter of minutes. (Id.
removed the case to this Court. (Id. ¶ 22.) On
August 29, 2014, Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint,
on December 8, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a Second Amended
Complaint. (Doc. Nos. 10, 33.)
December 22, 2014, TriMark filed a Third-Party Complaint
against distributors HMI Group; HMI USA, Inc.; HMI, LTD.; and
HMI Sources, Ltd. (hereinafter collectively
“HMI”). TriMark had contracted with HMI for the
purchase of actuators for ultimate distribution and
installation in emergency transport vehicles, including
ambulances and specifically Medic Unit 22. (Doc. No. 35
December 21, 2015, TriMark amended its Third-Party Complaint,
adding as Third-Party Defendants Tesor Plus Corporation
(“Tesor”) and Pilock Corporation
(“Pilock”), which were identified by HMI as
manufacturers of the actuator at issue that was supplied to
HMI before being used by TriMark. (Doc. No. 75 ¶ 9.) On
August 19, 2016, Tesor and Pilock filed a Motion to Dismiss
the Amended Third-Party Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) for lack of personal jurisdiction.
(Doc. No. 90.) On February 17, 2017, this Court entered an
Order affording a period of jurisdictional discovery. (Doc.
No. 119.) In that same Order, the Court denied Tesor and
Pilock's Motion to Dismiss without
1, 2017, Tesor and Pilock filed another Motion to Dismiss the
Amended Third-Party Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2).
(Doc. No. 126.) On June 15, 2017, TriMark filed a Response in
Opposition to Tesor and Pilock's Motion. (Doc. Nos.
132-36.) On June 22, 2017, Tesor and Pilock filed a Reply.
(Doc. No. 140.) On July 7, 2017, a hearing was held on the
Motion. (Doc. No. 142.)
October 31, 2017, this Court issued an Opinion and Order
granting Tesor and Pilock's Motion to Dismiss the Amended
Third-Party Complaint. (Doc. Nos. 143-44.) A month later on
November 30, 2017, TriMark filed a Motion for
Reconsideration, Entry of a Separate Judgment, or Leave to
Appeal. (Doc. No. 146.) On December 14, 2017, Tesor and
Pilock filed a Response in Opposition to TriMark's
Motion. (Doc. No. 147.) On January 1, 2018, TriMark filed a
Reply. (Doc. No. 151.)
advances three primary arguments in seeking reconsideration:
(1) this Court erred by dismissing Tesor and Pilock as
parties in this case and instead should transfer the action
to the Northern District of Iowa, which would have
jurisdiction over them; (2) alternatively, this Court should
enter a final judgment as to Tesor and Pilock under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b); and, in the alternative, (3)
dismissal of Tesor and Pilock warrants leave to appeal under
28 U.S.C. § 1292(b). (Doc. No. 146.)
and Pilock respond initially by pointing out that
TriMark's Motion should be denied because it is untimely
pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(g). (Doc. No. 147.) In response to
TriMark's first point, Tesor and Pilock argue that the
Motion should be denied because TriMark does not satisfy the
Motion for Reconsideration standard, cannot establish that
personal jurisdiction exists over them in the proposed
transferee court and improperly is seeking new relief in its
request for transfer. (Id.) In response to
TriMark's second point, they argue that entry of judgment
under Rule 54(b) is not proper because TriMark cannot
demonstrate the necessary showing that there is no just
reason for delay caused by entry of judgment. (Id.)
Finally, in response to TriMark's third point, Tesor and
Pilock argue that TriMark cannot satisfy its burden of
proving exceptional circumstances exist to warrant
interlocutory appeal, and that it cannot satisfy the
three-part test courts apply when confronted with requests
for an interlocutory appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b).
Motion for Reconsideration, Entry of a Separate Judgment, or
Leave to Appeal (Doc. No. 146) is now ripe for a decision.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
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 ex rel. Lou-Ann,
Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)).
Thus, a proper motion for reconsideration “must rely on
one of three grounds: (1) an intervening change in
controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence; or (3)
the need to correct clear error of law or prevent manifest
injustice.” Wiest v. Lynch, 710 F.3d 121, 128
(3d Cir. 2013) (quoting Lazaridis v. Wehmer, 591
F.3d 666, 669 (3d Cir. 2010)).
motion for reconsideration should only address “factual
and legal matters that the Court may have overlooked.”
In re Blood Reagents Antitrust Litig., 756 F.Supp.2d
637, 640 (E.D. Pa. 2010) (quoting Glendon Energy Co. v.
Borough of Glendon, 836 F.Supp. 1109, 1122 (E.D. Pa.
1993)). It is improper that a motion for reconsideration ask
the court to “rethink what it had already thought
through-rightly or wrongly.” Id. (quoting
Glendon Energy Co., 836 F.Supp. at 1122). A motion
for reconsideration is not a tool to present new legal
theories or arguments that could have been asserted to
support the first motion. Federico v. Charterers Mut.
Assur. Ass'n, Ltd., 158 F.Supp.2d 565, 578 (E.D. Pa.
the moving party argues that the court overlooked certain
evidence or controlling decisions of law which were
previously presented, a court should grant a motion for
reconsideration only if the issues overlooked might
reasonably have resulted in a different conclusion.
Cataldo v. Moses, 361 F.Supp.2d 420, 433 (D.N.J.
2004). Federal courts have a strong interest in the finality
of judgments and therefore should grant motions for
reconsideration sparingly. In re Asbestos Prods. Liab.
Litig. (No. VI), 801 F.Supp.2d 333, 334 (E.D. Pa. 2011).
TriMark's Motion for
Reconsideration Will Be Denied Because It
Is Untimely Pursuant to Local Rule
District of Pennsylvania Local Rule 7.1(g) provides that
“[m]otions for reconsideration or reargument shall be
served and filed within fourteen (14) days after the entry of
the order concerned.” The time frame is mandatory,
evidenced by use of the word “shall.”
this Court issued its Opinion and Order granting Tesor and
Pilock's Motion to Dismiss the Amended Third-Party
Complaint on October 31, 2017. (Doc. Nos. 143-44.) TriMark
filed its Motion for Reconsideration on November 30, 2017, 16
days after the 14-day time period expired. (Doc. No. 146.)
Therefore, TriMark's Motion for Reconsideration is
untimely. Bridges v. Colvin, 136 F.Supp.3d 620 (E.D.
Pa. 2015) (denying a motion for reconsideration of an
interlocutory order that was filed one day late because it
was untimely pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(g)). Accordingly, the
Motion (Doc. No. 146) will be denied. Id.
(“[I]t is not an abuse of discretion for a district
court to impose a harsh result, such as dismissing a motion
or an appeal, when a litigant fails to strictly comply with
the terms of a local rule.” (citing United States
v. Eleven Vehicles, 200 F.3d 203, 214 (3d Cir. 2000))).
noted, Local Rule 7.1(g) provides that the 14-day time frame
applies to motions “other than those governed by
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e).” Rule 59(e)
provides as follows: “A motion to alter or amend a
judgment must be filed no later than 28 days after the entry
of the judgment.” This rule does not affect the fact
that TriMark's Motion for Reconsideration is untimely
because the Motion was filed more than 28 days after entry of
the October 31, 2017 Opinion and Order.
the October 31, 2017 Opinion and Order was not a
“judgment” under Rule 59(e). The Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure define “judgment” to
“include a decree and any order from which an appeal
lies.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(a). “An order dismissing
some, but not all, of a party's claims is neither a
decree nor an order from which an appeal lies; rather, such
an order is interlocutory in nature.” Bridges,
136 F.Supp.3d at 628 (citing Andrews v. United
States, 373 U.S. 334, 340 (1963)). “[B]ecause an
order dismissing fewer than all claims or parties is
generally not a final judgment, a Rule 59(e) motion to
challenge such an order may only be filed after the district
court enters the final judgment.” Id. (citing
Auto Servs. Co. v. KPMG, 537 F.3d 853, 856 (8th Cir.
the October 31, 2017 Opinion and Order was not a
“judgment” because it dismissed some, but not all
parties and claims, given that claims against HMI in the
Amended Third-Party Complaint still remain. Therefore, Rule
59(e) is not applicable to the instant motion.
these reasons, TriMark's Motion for Reconsideration is
untimely pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(g) and therefore will be
denied. Even if the Motion was not untimely, reconsideration
is not warranted.
TriMark's Motion Will Be Denied Because TriMark Has Not
Established that Reconsideration Is Warranted
TriMark's Motion for Reconsideration was timely,
reconsideration is not warranted. As noted, a proper motion
for reconsideration “must rely on one of three grounds:
(1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the
availability of new evidence; or (3) the need to correct
clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice.”
Wiest v. Lynch, 710 F.3d 121, 128 (3d Cir. 2013)
(quoting Lazaridis v. Wehmer, 591 F.3d 666, 669 (3d
TriMark does not specify how it satisfies the standard for
reconsideration. It has not identified an intervening change
in controlling law that would affect the Court's recent
decision and has not added any new evidence for the Court to
consider. Id. TriMark also does not cite any clear
errors of law or describe a manifest injustice. Id.
only error TriMark alleges that the Court made was to
“dismiss the Third-Party Complaint filed against
[Tesor and Pilock]” instead of transferring the action
because “transfer, rather than dismissal, is the option
of choice.” (Doc. No. 146-2 at 4 (quoting
D'Jamoos v. Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., No. 07-1153,
2009 WL 3152188, at *2 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 1, 2009)).)
and Pilock submit that the Court was never asked to transfer,
and therefore the Court did not err. (Doc. No. 147 at 22.) As
they note, “Courts often take a dim view of issues
raised for the first time in post-judgment motions.”
(Id. (quoting Kiewit E. Co. v. L&R Constr.
Co., 44 F.3d 1194, 1204 (3d Cir. 1995)).) And “[a]
motion to reconsider may not raise new arguments that could
have (or should have) been made in support of or in
opposition to the original motion.” (Id.
(quoting Pac. Emp'rs Ins. Co. v. Glob. Reinsurance
Corp. of Am., No. 09-6055, 2010 WL 2376131, at *5 (E.D.
Pa. June 9, 2010)).)
Court agrees with Tesor and Pilock. First, the Court's
decision to dismiss rather than transfer cannot be considered
as an error of law because, as the record shows, this Court
was never asked to transfer before it dismissed Tesor and
Pilock as Third-Party Defendants. TriMark improperly raises
this argument for the first time in its motion for
reconsideration. Pac. Emp'rs Ins. Co., 2010 WL
2376131, at *5.
the Court's decision to dismiss Tesor and Pilock as
Third-Party Defendants does not warrant reconsideration to
“prevent manifest injustice” because no such
injustice exists. As this Court has observed, “[i]n
order for a court to reconsider a decision due to
‘manifest injustice, ' the record presented must be
so patently unfair and tainted that the error is manifestly
clear to all who view it.'” Teri Woods
Publ'g, L.L.C. v. Williams, No. 12-04854, 2013 WL
6388560, at *2 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 6, 2013) (citation omitted).
TriMark has failed to demonstrate such an error. For these
reasons, reconsideration is not warranted.
Transfer of This Case to the Northern District of Iowa Is Not
asks this Court to transfer the matter to the Northern
District of Iowa, which TriMark asserts would have
jurisdiction over Tesor and Pilock. Because the Northern
District of Iowa does not have personal jurisdiction over
Tesor or Pilock either, the Court will not transfer the
The Court Will Not Transfer This Action Because the Proposed
Transferee Court Does Not Have ...