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Anthony Glielmi and Patricia Glielmi v. the Raymond Corporation and Arbor Material Handling

November 1, 2012

ANTHONY GLIELMI AND PATRICIA GLIELMI, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
THE RAYMOND CORPORATION AND ARBOR MATERIAL HANDLING, INC. DEFENDANTS.



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

OPINION

Currently pending before the Court is Defendant The Raymond Corporation's ("Raymond") Motion for Reconsideration [Doc. No. 44] of this Court's prior Opinion and Order entered on March 19, 2012. [Doc. Nos. 40 & 41.] For the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion will be denied.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The facts of this case are familiar to all relevant parties and are detailed in the Court's prior Opinion. [See Doc. No. 40.] The Court therefore only discusses the facts and procedural history that are relevant to the instant Motion.

On March 19, 2012, the Court entered an Order denying Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.*fn1 [Doc. No. 41.] Most relevant to the instant Motion, the Court found that an agency relationship existed between Defendant Arbor Material Handling, Inc. ("Arbor") and Defendant Raymond. More specifically, the Court found that Raymond, as the manufacturer, was the principal in the relationship, and Arbor, as the dealer that provided rentals and training related to the forklift machinery, was the agent.

Raymond filed the instant Motion for Reconsideration on April 2, 2012, seeking reconsideration of the Court's holding that Raymond could be held liable under the agency principles of New Jersey law. [Doc. No. 44.] Plaintiffs Anthony and Patricia Glielmi*fn2 filed a Response in Opposition on April 16, 2012. [Doc. No. 45.] This matter is now ripe for judicial review.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not expressly recognize motions for reconsideration. See Harrison v. Smith, No.Civ.A.08-3050, 2010 WL 715666, at *2 (D.N.J. Feb. 24, 2010) (citing United States v. Compaction Sys. Corp., 88 F.Supp.2d 339, 345 (D.N.J. 1999)). Generally, such motions are treated as motions to alter or amend the judgment of the court pursuant to Rule 59(e), or as motions for relief from the court's judgment or order under Rule 60(b). See Harrison, 2010 WL 715666 at *2. In the District of New Jersey, motions for reconsideration are governed by Local Civil Rule 7.1(I). Bowers v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletics Assoc., 130 F. Supp. 2d 610, 612 (D.N.J. 2001). That rule provides, in relevant part, as follows:

[A] motion for reconsideration shall be served and filed within 14 days after the entry of the order or judgment on the original motion by the Judge. . . . A brief setting forth concisely the matter or controlling decisions which the party believes the Judge . . . has overlooked shall be filed with the Notice of Motion. L.R. 7.1(I).

A motion for reconsideration is "a device to relitigate the original issue decided by the district court, and [it is] used to allege legal error." Dermo v. Isaacson, No. Civ.A.11-06520, 2012 WL 4207179, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 19, 2012) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). In order to prevail on a reconsideration motion, the movant has the burden of demonstrating one of the following:

(1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court [issued its order]; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice.

Max's Seafood Cafe v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)(citing N. River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reins. Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995)). The standard for reargument is considerably high, and such motions are to be granted only sparingly. See Dermo, 2012 WL 4207179 at *2; Harrison, 2010 WL 715666 at *2. Thus, a party's difference of opinion with the court's decision should be dealt with through the normal appellate process. Bowers, 130 F.Supp.2d at 612 (citations omitted); Florham Park Chevron, Inc. v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 680 F.Supp. 159, 162 (D.N.J. 1988); see also Chicosky v. Presbyterian Med. Ctr., 979 F. Supp. 316, 318 (D.N.J. 1997); NL Indus., Inc. v. Comm. Union Ins. Co., 935 F. Supp. 513, 516 (D.N.J. 1996) ("Reconsideration motions . . . may not be used to re-litigate old matters, or to raise arguments or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment."). In other words, "[a] motion for reconsideration should not provide the parties with an opportunity for a second bite at the apple." Tishcio v. Bontex, Inc., 16 F.Supp.2d 511, 532 (D.N.J. 1998) (internal citation omitted).

III. DISCUSSION

In its present Motion for Reconsideration, Defendant argues that the Court erred in finding that an agency relationship existed between Raymond and Arbor. (Def.'s Mot. Recons. 1.) More specifically, Raymond argues that it cannot be held liable for Arbor's actions because it played no role in the orientation during which Glielmi was injured, nor did it supply the subject forklift. (Id. at 2.) Rather, Raymond avers that any liability related to Glielmi's accident during the orientation should be imputed to another company, Malin Integrated Handling S&D ("Malin"). According to Defendant, Malin - not Raymond - was actually the ...


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