United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
PW, a minor, by DOMINQUE WOODSON, his mother and guardian, and DOMINQUE WOODSON, individually, Plaintiffs,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and ANONYMOUS HOSPITAL, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for
Relief from Judgment [ECF No. 43].
background facts are as follows. Plaintiffs filed their
Complaint [ECF No. 1], raising claims under the Federal Tort
Claims Act (“FTCA”) against Defendant United
States of America and raising related state law claims under
the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act against Defendant
Anonymous Hospital. Defendant Anonymous Hospital filed an
Unopposed Motion for Initial Enlargement of Time to Respond
to Plaintiffs' Complaint [ECF No. 19]. This motion
represented to the Court that under Indiana Code §
34-18-8-7, other than filing an initial complaint, Plaintiffs
were prohibited from pursuing claims against it until after a
Medical Review Panel issued an opinion on a pending proposed
complaint. The Court granted this unopposed motion [ECF No.
20], relieving Defendant Anonymous Hospital of its obligation
to respond until such time that a Medical Review Panel issues
an opinion and Plaintiffs amend the Complaint to identify
Defendant Anonymous Hospital.
Defendant United States of America filed a Motion to Dismiss
or Alternatively Summary Judgment [ECF No. 21], pursuant to
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and 56. It is
undisputed that Defendant Anonymous Hospital did not join
Defendant United States of America's Motion [ECF No. 21].
After briefing on Defendant United States of America's
motion was complete, the Court issued an Opinion and Order
[ECF No. 37] granting Defendant United States of
America's motion for summary judgment. The final sentence
of the Opinion provided: “The Clerk will enter judgment
in favor of the Defendants and against the Plaintiffs.”
Opinion and Order at 23, ECF No. 37. Accordingly, the Clerk
of Court's Entry of Judgment [ECF No. 38] entered
judgment in favor of both Defendants and against Plaintiffs.
the entry of judgment, Plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal
[ECF No. 39] of the Court's grant of summary judgment.
After initial briefing on the question of jurisdiction, the
Court of Appeals issued an Order granting Plaintiffs leave to
file a motion with this Court for relief from judgment under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(a) or (b). Plaintiffs then
filed Plaintiffs' Motion for Relief from Judgment [ECF
No. 43] with this Court. Both Defendant Anonymous Hospital
[ECF No. 44] and Defendant United States [ECF No. 45]
responded, neither of whom either conceded or denied that the
claims against Defendant Anonymous Hospital should not have
Court granted Defendant United States of America's Motion
for Summary Judgment after concluding that the statute of
limitations had run on Plaintiffs' FTCA claims against
Defendant United States of America and that no exception to
the statute of limitations applied. Opinion and Order at
12-22. The analysis section of the Opinion did not consider
the claims against Anonymous Hospital and repeatedly referred
to the singular “Defendant's” motion.
Id. at 1, 2, 7, 22. After carefully reviewing its
previous Opinion, the Court determines that it inadvertently
used the plural “Defendants” within the
“CONCLUSION” section of the Opinion.
Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(1) allows a court to modify a
final judgment on motion because of “mistake,
inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect.” But
see Shuffle Tech Int'l, LLC v. Wolff Gaming, Inc.,
757 F.3d 708, 710 (7th Cir. 2014) (noting that, “if the
flaw lies in the translation of the original meaning to the
judgment, then Rule 60(a) allows a correction; [but] if the
judgment captures the original meaning but is infected by
error, then the parties must seek another source of authority
to correct the mistake”) (quoting United States v.
Griffin, 782 F.2d 1393, 1396-97 (7th Cir. 1986)). Thus,
Rule 60(b)(1) provides authority for this Court to
potentially modify the final judgment in this matter as it
relates to Defendant Anonymous Hospital.
of the pending appeal, this Court currently lacks
jurisdiction to modify the final judgment in this matter.
However, Seventh Circuit Rule 57 states that, “A party
who during the pendency of an appeal has filed a motion under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(a) or 60(b), . . . should request the
district court to indicate whether it is inclined to grant
the motion. If the district court so indicates, this court
will remand the case for the purpose of modifying the
the Court TAKES UNDER ADVISEMENT Plaintiffs' Motion for
Relief from Judgment [ECF No. 43], and indicates, pursuant to
Seventh Circuit Rule 57, that it is inclined to grant
Plaintiff's motion and modify the September 9, 2019
Opinion and Order granting summary judgment [ECF No. 37] to