United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
GORDON PARKER GOODFELLOW IV, a minor by GORDON PARKER GOODFELLOW, III and LORENA GOODFELLOW, Parents and Natural Guardians and GORDON PARKER GOODFELLOW, III and LORENA GOODFELLOW, Individually, Plaintiffs
SHOHOLA, INC., d/b/a CAMP SHOHOLA FOR BOYS, INC. CANDACE KAY LEHMAN and LISA M. CHOU BRASS, Defendants
MALACHY E. MANNION UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
4, 2017, the court issued a memorandum and order, (Docs.
25-26), granting in part and denying in part defendants'
motion to dismiss, (Doc. 12), the plaintiffs'
amended complaint, (Doc. 10). See 2017 WL
1738398 (M.D.Pa. May 4, 2017). In its Order, one claim that
the court dismissed with prejudice was plaintiffs' direct
corporate medical negligence claims against Camp Netimus,
Inc., d/b/a Camp Shohola for Boys, Inc. (“the
Camp”)contained in Count III of the amended
complaint based on a defective Certificate of Merit
(“COM”) which failed to set forth that the
plaintiffs were proceeding on such a theory against the Camp.
Pending before the court is the motion for reconsideration of
the plaintiffs with respect to only their direct medical
corporate negligence claims against in the Camp. (Doc. 28).
For the reasons discussed below, the plaintiffs' motion
will be DENIED.
PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND 
plaintiffs, Gordon Parker Goodfellow, III, and Lorena
Goodfellow bring this action on behalf of their minor son,
Gordon Parker Goodfellow, IV (“GPG”), and on
their own behalf. The plaintiffs filed their complaint on
July 22, 2016, (Doc. 1), against defendants the
Camp, and the two Camp infirmary nurses, Candace Kay Lehman
and Lisa M. Chou. On September 23, 2016, defendants filed a
motion to dismiss the original complaint arguing, in part,
that the COM regarding the Camp was defective. (Doc. 9). On
September 30, 2016, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint.
(Doc. 10). The only difference between the amended
complaint and the original complaint was ¶17.1 which
stated that counsel erred in checking the wrong box on the
original COM for the Camp and that plaintiffs had secured an
expert who gave an opinion regarding the negligence of the
Camp. The amended COM for the Camp had the box for vicarious
liability checked. (Doc. 10, pp. 24-25).
their amended complaint, (Doc. 10), the plaintiffs
asserted claims of direct and corporate negligence against
the Camp, including claims that it failed to adequately train
the infirmary staff, it failed to have adequate policies and
procedures in place, and it failed to consult with a
physician. Specifically, the relevant count in the amended
complaint for present purposes is Count III, claims of
vicarious liability as well as direct corporate medical
negligence claims against the Camp.
amended COM filed against the Camp, which was based only on
Pa.R.C.P. 1042.3(a)(2), stated that “the claim that
this defendant deviated from an acceptable professional
standard is based solely on allegations that other licensed
professionals [i.e., Lehman and Chou] for whom this defendant
is responsible deviated from an acceptable professional
standard” and, that an expert has found “there is
a basis to conclude that the care, skill or knowledge
exercised or exhibited by the other licensed professionals in
the treatment, practice or work [at issue], fell outside
acceptable professional standards and that such conduct was a
cause in bringing about the harm [to GPG].”
the plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration was fully
briefed, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint
(“SAC”) on December 15, 2017. (Doc. 45). The
defendants filed a motion to dismiss plaintiffs' SAC on
January 8, 2018. (Doc. 49). The defendants' motion was
then fully briefed. The defendants essentially argue that the
plaintiffs' SAC now contains two COMs against the Camp,
one based upon Pa.R.C.P. 1042.3(a)(1) and one based upon
Pa.R.C.P. 1042.3(a)(2), and that this is not proper since the
plaintiffs' amended complaint only contained one COM
against the Camp under Pa.R.C.P. 1042.3(a)(2), and since the
court dismissed plaintiffs' corporate/direct negligence
claims against the Camp with prejudice in its May 4, 2017
Memorandum and Order. The defendants also seeks to dismiss
the plaintiffs' claims in their SAC for punitive damages.
court now considers only the plaintiffs' motion for
reconsideration of its May 4, 2017 Memorandum and Order. The
defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' SAC will be
addressed in a separate memorandum.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion for reconsideration may be used to seek remediation
for manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly
discovered evidence which, if previously discovered, might
have affected the court's decision. United States el
rel. Schumann v. Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals, L.P., 769
F.3d 837, 848 (3d Cir. 2014) (citing Max's Seafood
Café v. Quineros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir.
1999)); Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909
(3d Cir. 1985). A party seeking reconsideration must
demonstrate 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; or (3) the need to correct a clear
error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice.
Lazaridis v. Wehmer, 591 F.3d 666, 669 (3d Cir.
2010); Max's Seafood Café, 176 F.3d at
677 (citing North River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance
Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995)). However,
“[b]ecause 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.
is generally appropriate in instances where the court has
“misunderstood a party, or has made a decision outside
the adversarial issues presented to the [c]ourt by the
parties, or has made an error not of reasoning, but of
apprehension.” York Int'l Corp. v. Liberty Mut.
Ins. Co., 140 F.Supp.3d 357, 360-61 (3d Cir. 2015)
(quoting Rohrbach v. AT & T Nassau Metals
Corp., 902 F.Supp. 523, 527 (M.D. Pa. 1995)). It may not
be used as a means to reargue unsuccessful theories that were
presented to the court in the context of the matter
previously decided “or as an attempt to relitigate a
point of disagreement between the [c]ourt and the
litigant.” Id. at 361 (quoting Ogden v.
Keystone Residence, 226 F.Supp.2d 588, 606 (M.D. Pa.
2002)). The “motion will not be granted merely because
a party is dissatisfied with the court's ruling, nor will
a court consider repetitive arguments that were previously
asserted and considered.” Frazier v. SCI Med.
Dispensary Doctor 2 Staff Members, No. 1:07-194, 2009
WL 136724, at *2 (M.D. Pa. Jan. 16, 2009) (collecting cases).
their motion, the plaintiffs state that there are two issues
namely, “whether Plaintiffs need an expert opinion by
way of a COM in order to get their direct corporate liability
claim through the Courthouse door and [(2)] whether such an
issue can be addressed on motions to dismiss.” (Doc. 29
at 4). As defendants point out, both of these issues were
thoroughly addressed by the court in its May 4, 2017
Memorandum. As such, the court will not rehash its reasoning
regarding these contentions.
extent the plaintiffs argue that the court should have waited
until summary judgment to decide whether their direct
corporate medical negligence claims against the Camp can be
dismissed, the court found that the Third Circuit and
district courts in Pennsylvania have ...