United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
MARSHALL B. TUCKER, Plaintiff,
EXPRESS SCRIPTS HOLDING, Defendant.
ENTRY ON MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on a Motion for Reconsideration
filed by Defendant Express Scripts Holding Company
(“Express Scripts”) (Filing No. 64).
Following a motion for summary judgment filed by Express
Scripts, the Court entered summary judgment in favor of
Express Scripts on Plaintiff Marshall Tucker's
(“Tucker”) claims for retaliation and harassment
but denied summary judgment on Tucker's claim for race
discrimination under Title VII and Section 1981 (Filing
No. 63). Express Scripts asks the Court to reconsider
the summary judgment Order regarding the race discrimination
claim. For the following reasons, the Court
DENIES the Motion for Reconsideration.
Motion is properly classified as a motion to reconsider under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b), as no final judgment
has been entered in this case. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
54(b) (“any order or other decision, however
designated, that adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the
rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties does not
end the action as to any of the claims or parties and may be
revised at any time before the entry of a judgment
adjudicating all the claims and all the parties' rights
Court applies a similar standard as applied to motions to
alter or amend a judgment under Rule 59(e). Motions to
reconsider filed pursuant to Rule 54(b) or Rule 59(e) are for
the purpose of correcting manifest errors of law or fact or
to present newly discovered evidence not available at the
time of briefing, and a motion to reconsider an order under
Rule 54(b) is judged by largely the same standard as a motion
to alter or amend a judgment under Rule 59(e). Katz-Crank
v. Haskett, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95144, at *6 (S.D.
Ind. July 14, 2014); Woods v. Resnick, 725 F.Supp.2d
809, 827-28 (W.D. Wis. 2010).
to reconsider “serve a limited function: to correct
manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered
evidence.” State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v.
Nokes, 263 F.R.D. 518, 526 (N.D. Ind. 2009). The motion
is to be used “where the Court has patently
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.” Bank of Waunakee v. Rochester Cheese
Sales, Inc., 906 F.2d 1185, 1191 (7th Cir. 1990)
purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to ask the court
to reconsider matters “properly encompassed in a
decision on the merits.” Osterneck v. Ernst &
Whinney, 489 U.S. 169, 174 (1989). The motion
“will be successful only where the movant clearly
establishes: (1) that the court committed a manifest error of
law or fact, or (2) that newly discovered evidence precluded
entry of judgment.” Cincinnati Life Ins. Co. v.
Beyrer, 722 F.3d 939, 954 (7th Cir. 2013) (citation and
quotation marks omitted). A manifest error “is not
demonstrated by the disappointment of the losing party. It is
the wholesale disregard, misapplication, or failure to
recognize controlling precedent.” Oto v.
Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir.
2000) (citation and quotation marks omitted).
is not an appropriate forum for rehashing previously rejected
arguments or arguing matters that could have been heard
during the pendency of the previous motion.” Ahmed
v. Ashcroft, 388 F.3d 247, 249 (7th Cir. 2004) (citation
and quotation marks omitted). Relief pursuant to a motion to
reconsider is an “extraordinary remed[y] reserved for
the exceptional case.” Foster v. DeLuca, 545
F.3d 582, 584 (7th Cir. 2008).
Scripts asks the Court to reconsider its summary judgment
decision regarding Tucker's race discrimination claim
brought pursuant to Title VII and Section 1981. Express
Scripts explains that,
While Defendant does not concede that Plaintiff established
any disputed material facts supporting a prima facie
case of race discrimination, that finding is not material to
this motion. Rather, Defendant seeks reconsideration of the
Court's second and third steps in the analysis, namely
Defendant's proffered legitimate reason for termination,
and Plaintiff's burden of proving that reason pretextual.
(Filing No. 65 at 5.) Express Scripts further
claims, “[i]n addition, the Court has overlooked
Plaintiff's ultimate burden of persuasion as to
discriminatory motive throughout the burden-shifting
analysis.” Id. at 6.
arguing that the Court should reconsider its summary judgment
ruling on the race discrimination claim, Express Scripts
asserts that the Court adopted Tucker's
mischaracterization of the evidence, thereby misunderstanding
Express Scripts' proffered reason for Tucker's
termination and misconstruing the pretext issue.
Scripts points to other cases within the Seventh Circuit and
notes that the other courts held that employers'
reorganization, reduction in force, or financial difficulties
were legitimate reasons for termination. Express Scripts then
goes on to distinguish “position” from
“duties” and asserts that a
“position” can be eliminated and the duties of a
laid-off employee can be absorbed by a retained employee. It
explains that such is the case here; Tucker's position
was eliminated, and another supervisor absorbed Tucker's
duties. Express Scripts then asserts that, “[b]ound by
the above precedents and ...