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Thomas Treusch v. Center Square Supermarket

April 5, 2013

THOMAS TREUSCH, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CENTER SQUARE SUPERMARKET, LLC, AND UNITED FOODS & COMMERCIAL WORKERS UNION, LOCAL 152, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Jerome B. Simandle

OPINION

SIMANDLE, Chief Judge:

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Thomas Treusch's motion for reconsideration [Docket Item 53] of this Court's January 31, 2013 Opinion and Order [Docket Items 51 and 52] granting Defendant Center Square Supermarket and Defendant United Foods and Commercial Workers Union, Local 152's motions for summary judgment and dismissing Plaintiff's case with prejudice. Plaintiff seeks leave to file an amended complaint against the Defendants alleging age and race discrimination under the NJLAD. In addition, Plaintiff asks the court to reconsider its opinion and deny Defendants' motions for summary judgment. Defendants filed opposition to Plaintiff's motion.

For the reasons discussed below, the court will deny Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration and for leave to amend his complaint post-judgment.

II. BACKGROUND

The factual background of this case is discussed in this Court's January 31, 2013 Opinion [Docket Item 51] and is incorporated herein.

This action arises out of the Plaintiff's discharge from employment by Defendant Center Square. The Plaintiff maintained in his complaint that he was falsely accused of sexual harassment and thereby wrongfully terminated. Specifically, the Plaintiff alleged "[a] significant contributing factor to the decision to discharge the plaintiff from employment was the male gender of the plaintiff. This violated the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination." [Docket Item 1-4 ¶ 11.] The Plaintiff also maintained that Defendant Local 152 failed to adequately represent him and arbitrate his grievance. Consequently, the Plaintiff filed the instant suit alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and gender discrimination in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1, et seq. ("NJLAD"), against the Defendants.

The Defendants then moved for summary judgment arguing that the Plaintiff's complaint for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty was time barred and that the Plaintiff failed to adduce sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case of reverse gender discrimination. [Docket Items 23 and 28.]

The court granted both motions for summary judgment and dismissed all of the Plaintiff's claims with prejudice. The court concluded that the Plaintiff's claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty arose under Section 301 of the National Labor Relations Act and were therefore subject to a six-month limitations period. Since the Plaintiff's complaint was filed more than six months after his final appeal to the Union was denied, his claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty against Center Square and the Union were time barred. As for the Plaintiff's NJLAD claim, the court found the Plaintiff did not put forth sufficient evidence to establish his prima facie case for reverse gender discrimination against Center Square or Local 152 and therefore no rational jury would find that the Plaintiff was discriminated against in violation of the NJLAD.

The court also noted in a footnote to the NJLAD analysis that the Plaintiff had attempted to assert claims for age discrimination and race discrimination in his opposition brief. The court explained that these additional claims were beyond the Plaintiff's complaint and improperly raised by the Plaintiff in his opposition brief. Specifically, the Court stated:

To the extent Plaintiff argues he was also discriminated against because of his age (53) and ethnicity (European American), the court rejects these arguments because the Plaintiff has failed to plead age discrimination or racial discrimination in his complaint. These claims have arisen for the first time in Plaintiff's opposition to summary judgment and Center Square had no notice of these arguments. The Plaintiff has not filed a motion to amend his complaint to pursue these claims. Moreover, Plaintiff's opposition fails to set forth sufficient record evidence to establish these claims. Accordingly, the court will disregard Plaintiff's belated attempts to expand his complaint and will not address the merits of Plaintiff's arguments regarding age discrimination and racial discrimination under the NJLAD. [Docket Item 51, January 31, 2013 Opinion at 34 n.2.]

After granting the Defendants' motions for summary judgment, the Plaintiff filed the instant motion for reconsideration. [Docket Item 53.] The Plaintiff seeks an order reconsidering the court's decision to grant Defendants' motion for summary judgment and requests an order allowing Plaintiff to amend his complaint post-judgment in order to include allegations of age and race discrimination in violation of the NJLAD.

Both Defendant Center Square and Defendant Local 152 oppose this motion. [Docket Items 54 and 55.] Both Defendants argue that the Plaintiff has failed to present any grounds for relief entitling him to reconsideration of this court's decision. The Defendants contend that the Plaintiff has presented no new evidence, no intervening change in the law and no dispositive factual matters or controlling decisions which were overlooked by the court. In addition, Defendants argue that the Plaintiff should not be allowed to amend his complaint at this late date. Defendants maintain that the Plaintiff unduly delayed in seeking to amend his complaint, they would be greatly prejudiced by this ...


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