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Hudson v. Siemens Logistics and Assembly Systems

March 25, 2008

CHARLES HUDSON AND DEBRA HUDSON, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
SIEMENS LOGISTICS AND ASSEMBLY SYSTEMS, INC., HK SYSTEMS, INC., AND EATON CORPORATION, DEFENDANTS,
HK SYSTEMS, INC., DEFENDANT/THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF,
v.
EATON CORPORATION, DEFENDANT/THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hillman, District Judge

OPINION

This matter has come before the Court on Defendant/Third-Party Defendant Eaton Corporation's motion for reconsideration of the Court's December 19, 2007 Opinion granting Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff HK Systems, Inc.'s motion for summary judgment and denying Eaton Corporation's motion for summary judgment. For the reasons expressed below, Eaton Corporation's motion will be denied.

BACKGROUND

This case was brought by Charles Hudson, who was injured on the job when an automated guided vehicle ("AGV") struck him and pinned him against a conveyer system. The Hudsons dismissed their claims against Siemens and HK Systems, Inc. ("HK") and settled their claims with Eaton Corporation ("Eaton"). What remained of the case was whether Eaton was responsible for the attorneys' fees and costs HK incurred as a result of defending against the Hudsons' claims, and, correspondingly, the fees and costs HK incurred as a result of the prosecution of their third-party claim against Eaton for indemnification. The duty to indemnify, HK claimed, arose from an Asset Purchase Agreement ("APA") entered into by the parties' predecessors.

Eaton and HK each filed a motion for summary judgment, and on December 19, 2007, the Court granted HK's motion and denied Eaton's. Eaton has now asked the Court to reconsider its decision.

DISCUSSION

A. Standard for Motion for Reconsideration

Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) governs a motion for reconsideration. It provides, in relevant part, that "[a] motion for reconsideration shall be served and filed within 10 business days after the entry of the order or judgment on the original motion by the Judge or Magistrate Judge. A brief setting forth concisely the matter or controlling decisions which the party believes the Judge or Magistrate Judge has overlooked shall be filed with the Notice of Motion."

The purpose of a motion for reconsideration "is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence." Max's Seafood Café ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). The motion may not be used to re-litigate old matters or argue new matters that could have been raised before the original decision was reached. P. Schoenfeld Asset Mgmt., L.L.C. v. Cendant Corp., 161 F. Supp. 2d 349, 352 (D.N.J. 2001). Mere disagreement with the Court will not suffice to show that the Court overlooked relevant facts or controlling law. United States v. Compaction Sys. Corp., 88 F. Supp. 2d 339, 345 (D.N.J. 1999). Such disagreements should be dealt with through the normal appellate process. S.C. ex rel. C.C. v. Deptford Twp Bd. of Educ., 248 F. Supp. 2d 368, 381 (D.N.J. 2003).

A judgment may be altered or amended only if the party seeking reconsideration shows: (1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court granted the motion for summary judgment; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice. Max's Seafood Café, 176 F.3d at 677.

B. Analysis

Eaton raises two issues that it believes warrant reconsideration. First is Eaton's contention that the Court did not properly consider HK's lack of cooperation with Eaton's investigation in the underlying lawsuit. Second is Eaton's contention that the Court improperly determined that New Jersey's Statute of Repose did not apply to the Hudsons' claims. Each argument will be addressed in turn.

1. Whether the Court Failed to Properly Consider HK's Alleged Lack of Cooperation with Eaton's Investigation

Eaton argues that the Court did not fully consider Eaton's assertion that HK did not cooperate with Eaton in its investigation of the Hudsons' lawsuit. Eaton argues that HK was required to cooperate under the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing that is in every contract. Eaton contends that because HK did not cooperate like it was required to, Eaton is ...


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