Bollinger Shipyards Lockport, LLC v. Huntington Ingalls Incorporated, No. 2:2008cv04578 - Document 161 (E.D. La. 2014)

Court Description: ORDER AND REASONS - Defendant HIs motion for reconsideration is DENIED. Ruling on HIs motion to transfer is DEFERRED. IT IS ORDERED that Defendant HI submit additional briefing, not to exceed ten (10) pages, by November 24, 2014 on whether Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas33 applies and the timeliness of its motion to transfer. Plaintiff Bollinger may file a response by December 1, 2014, not to exceed ten (10) pages. Signed by Judge Susie Morgan. (bwn)
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Bollinger Shipyards Lockport, LLC v. Huntington Ingalls Incorporated Doc. 161 U N ITED STATES D ISTRICT COU RT EASTERN D ISTRICT OF LOU ISIAN A BOLLIN GER SH IPYARD S LOCKPORT, L.L.C., CIVIL ACTION Plain tiff VERSU S N O. 0 8 -4 578 H N TIN GTON IN GALLS IN CORPORATED SECTION "E" D e fe n d an t ORD ER AN D REASON S The Court has pending before it Defendant Huntington Ingalls’s m otion for reconsideration or, in the alternative, for transfer of venue.1 The Court has reviewed the briefs,2 the record, and the applicable law, and now issues this order and reasons. On Septem ber 24, 20 13, the Court ruled on Defendant Huntington Ingalls’s (“HI”) m otion to dism iss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,3 which the Court converted into a m otion for sum m ary judgm ent under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 4 The Court granted the m otion for sum m ary judgm ent insofar as it concerned Bollinger’s claim s for m ore than $ 10 0 ,0 0 0 based on the subsubcontract, and the Court denied the m otion insofar as it concerned claim s of any am ount based on a paym ent guarantee by HI or claim s for $ 10 0 ,0 0 0 or less based on the sub-subcontract.5 On October 7, 20 13, Bollinger filed a m otion for interlocutory certification under 1 R. Doc. 141. R. Doc. 141; R. Doc. 156; R. Doc. 160 . 3 R. Doc. 87. 4 R. Doc. 124. 5 R. Doc. 124. 2 1 Dockets.Justia.com 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b).6 HI filed a m otion for reconsideration of the Court’s Septem ber 24, 20 13 ruling, or, in the alternative, for transfer of venue on October 25, 20 13.7 Before the briefing on the m otion was com pleted, however, the Court granted Bollinger’s m otion for interlocutory certification on Novem ber 8, 20 13.8 The Court also stayed proceedings in the case and adm inistratively closed it pending com pletion of proceedings in the Fifth Circuit.9 On February 14, 20 14, the Fifth Circuit denied Bollinger’s petition for perm ission to appeal, and the case was reopened on February 20 , 20 14.10 HI filed its renewed m otion for reconsideration, or, in the alternative, for transfer of venue on March 12, 20 14.11 In its m otion, HI argues the Court should reconsider its order denying HI’s m otion to dism iss, converted by the Court to a m otion for sum m ary judgm ent, insofar as it concerned claim s of any am ount based on a paym ent guarantee by HI or claim s for $ 10 0 ,0 0 0 or less based on the sub-subcontract because HI did not have a chance to respond to an argument raised by Bollinger for the first time in its final brief in opposition to HI’s m otion.12 HI cites to Rule 54(b), which authorizes a district court to reconsider an interlocutory order at any tim e before the entry of a judgm ent.13 Plaintiff Bollinger opposes the m otion, arguing that Rule 60 (b) applies, and HI not only fails to articulate a standard of review for its m otion but also fails to “provide any grounds that would satisfy any one of the six Rule 60 (b) enum erated elements.”14 HI responds asserting Rule 60 (b) does not apply because “[t]he deadline for filing a Rule 59 post6 R. Doc. 126. R. Doc. 129. 8 R. Doc. 136. 9 R. Doc. 137. 10 R. Doc. 138. 11 R. Doc. 141. 12 R. Doc. 141-1 at pp. 2– 3. 13 Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 54; R. Doc. 141-1 at pp. 6– 7. 14 R. Doc. 156 at pp. 5– 6. 7 2 judgm ent m otion . . . does not apply to a m otion for reconsideration of an interlocutory order.”15 The Court’s order denying in part HI’s m otion is an interlocutory order since it did not adjudicate all of Plaintiff’s claim s. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) provides that “any order or other decision, however designated, that adjudicates fewer than all the claim s or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties . . . m ay be revised at any tim e before the entry of a [final] judgm ent.”16 Although the district court has broad discretion to reconsider an interlocutory order for any reason it deem s sufficient,17 this power “is exercised sparingly in order to forestall the perpetual reexam ination of orders and the resulting burdens and delays.18 Generally, the courts in this district evaluate a m otion to reconsider an interlocutory order under the sam e standards as those governing a m otion to alter or am end a final judgm ent brought pursuant to Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.19 Such a m otion “m ust clearly establish either a m anifest error of law or fact or m ust present newly discovered evidence and cannot be used to raise argum ents which could, and should, have been m ade before the judgm ent issued.”20 A m otion for reconsideration, however, “is ‘not the proper vehicle for rehashing evidence, legal theories, or argum ents that could have been offered or raised before the entry of [the 15 R. Doc. 160 at p. 2. Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b). 17 See U.S. v. Renda, 70 9 F.3d 472, 479 (5th Cir. 20 13) (citation and internal quotation marks om itted) (“Rule 54(b) authorizes a district court to reconsider and reverse its prior rulings on any interlocutory order for any reason it deem s sufficient.”) 18 Castrillo v. Am . Hom e Mortgage Servicing, Inc., 0 9-4369, 20 10 WL 1424398, at *3 (E.D. La. Apr. 5, 20 10 ) (Vance, J .). 19 See, e.g., id. at *3– 4 (“The general practice of this court has been to evaluate m otions to reconsider interlocutory orders under the sam e standards that govern Rule 59(e) m otions to alter or am end a final judgment.”). However, there are som e circum stances in which a different standard would be appropriate. Id. (citing Am . Canoe Ass'n v. Murphy Farm s, Inc., 326 F.3d 50 5, 514– 16 (4th Cir. 20 0 3)). 20 Schiller v. Phy sicians Resource Group Inc., 342 F.3d 563, 567 (5th Cir.20 0 3) (citations and internal quotation m arks om itted). 16 3 order].’”21 “The Court is m indful that ‘[r]econsideration of a judgm ent after its entry is an extraordinary rem edy that should be used sparingly.’”22 “When there exists no independent reason for reconsideration other than m ere disagreem ent with a prior order, reconsideration is a waste of judicial tim e and resources and should not be granted.”23 In deciding m otions under the Rule 59(e) standards, the courts in this district have considered the following factors: (1) whether the m ovant dem onstrates the m otion is necessary to correct m anifest errors of law or fact upon which the judgm ent is based; (2) whether the m ovant presents new evidence; (3) whether the m otion is necessary in order to prevent m anifest injustice; and (4) whether the m otion is justified by an intervening change in the controlling law.24 HI argues the Court should exercise its discretion to reconsider because “the Court’s ruling on Open Item s of $ 10 0 ,0 0 0 or less was based on a m eritless argum ent that Bollinger raised for the first tim e in its last brief on HI’s m otion to dism iss and that HI did not have an opportunity to address. Second, reconsideration is warranted on Bollinger’s guarantee claim because there is no evidence that HI guaranteed paym ent for any of the Open Item s. Third, . . . it would be a waste of judicial resources to deny reconsideration and proceed to trial on issues that can and should be decided in this m otion.”25 Nothing asserted by HI in its m otion for reconsideration or its reply establishes 21 Lacoste v. Pilgrim Int’l, 20 0 9 WL 1565940 , at *8 (E.D. La. J une 3, 20 0 9) (Vance, J .) (quoting Tem plet v. Hy droChem Inc., 367 F.3d 473, 478– 79 (5th Cir. 20 0 4)). 22 Castrillo, 20 10 WL 1424398, at *4 (alteration in original) (quoting Tem plet, 367 F.3d at 479). 23 Lightfoot v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 0 7-4833, 20 12 WL 711842, at *3 (E.D. La. Mar. 5, 20 12). 24 Castrillo, 20 10 WL 1424398, at *4. The Court notes that the tim e lim its of Rule 59 do not apply in this m atter because the order appealed is interlocutory. Rules 59 and 60 set forth deadlines for seeking reconsideration of final judgm ents. See Carter v. Farm ers Rice Milling Co., Inc., 33 F. App’x 70 4 (5th Cir. 20 0 2); Lightfoot v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 0 7-4833, 20 12 WL 711842, at *2 (E.D. La. Mar. 5, 20 12). 25 R. Doc. 160 at p. 4. 4 that the Court’s judgm ent is based on a m anifest error of law or that reconsideration is necessary to prevent m anifest injustice. Defendant’s m ain contention is that it did not have the chance to brief Bollinger’s argum ent upon which the Court ruled because Bollinger did not raise the argum ent until its sixth and final brief filed in response to HI’s m otion.26 This m atter was extensively briefed prior to the Court’s ruling, and all parties had am ple opportunity to raise claim s and defenses. Furtherm ore, Bollinger’s final brief was filed on Septem ber 3, 20 13.27 The Court did not rule on HI’s m otion until Septem ber 25, 20 13.28 If HI considered additional briefing necessary, HI could have asked the Court for leave to respond to Bollinger’s brief but did not do so. Accordingly, the Court declines to exercise its discretion to reconsider its previous order. HI is attem pting to raise an argum ent which could, and should, have been m ade before the Court issued its judgm ent. HI alternatively filed a m otion for transfer of the case to the Southern District of Mississippi.29 However, HI failed to address the im pact of the Suprem e Court’s decision in Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. U.S. District Court for the W estern District of Texas 30 in the transfer of this m atter or the timeliness of its m otion. The Court finds that additional briefing is necessary before it m ay decide HI’s m otion to transfer the case. Accordingly, Defendant HI’s m otion for reconsideration is D EN IED .31 Ruling on HI’s m otion to transfer is D EFERRED .32 IT IS ORD ERED that Defendant HI subm it additional briefing, not to exceed ten (10 ) pages, by Novem ber 24, 20 14 on whether 26 R. Doc. 141-1 at pp. 2– 3 (citing R. Doc. 124 at p. 9; R. Doc. 116-2 at pp. 7– 9)). R. Doc. 116 (“Additional Materials Establishing Genuine Disputed Issues of Material Fact”). 28 R. Doc. 124. 29 R. Doc. 141-1 at pp. 11– 13. 30 134 S. Ct. 568 (20 13). 31 R. Doc. 141. 32 R. Doc. 141. 27 5 Atlantic Marine Construction Co. v. U.S. District Court for the W estern District of Texas 33 applies and the tim eliness of its m otion to transfer. Plaintiff Bollinger m ay file a response by Decem ber 1, 20 14, not to exceed ten (10 ) pages. N e w Orle an s , Lo u is ian a, th is 14th d ay o f N o ve m be r, 2 0 14 . ___ ___________________ _______ SUSIE MORGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT J UDGE 33 134 S. Ct. 568 (20 13). 6