United States District Court, D. New Jersey
JAY MINERLEY, Individually and as Class Representative, Plaintiff,
AETNA, INC., AETNA HEALTH, INC., AETNA HEALTH INSURANCE CO., AETNA LIFE INSURANCE CO., and THE RAWLINGS COMPANY, LLC, Defendants.
HARRISON HARVEY BRANZBURG LLP, Charles A. Ercole, Esq.,
Carianne P. Torrissi, Esq., KANNEBECKER LAW Charles
Kannebecker, Esq. Counsel for Plaintiff
DANNENBERG COHEN & HART, P.C., Uriel Rabinovitz, Esq.,
Richard W. Cohen, Esq., Gerald Lawrence, Esq., Counsel for
HILLMAN, United State District Judge
before the Court is “Plaintiff's Motion for
Reconsideration and Petition to Vacate the Court's April
11, 2017 Order Denying Defendant's Motion to Strike Jury
Trial Demand as Moot.” The Court based its ruling on
the undisputed fact that none of the operative pleadings
contain a jury trial demand. Plaintiff contends that this
Court committed legal error because Plaintiff's original
complaint, filed in state court, contains a jury trial
demand. According to Plaintiff, that demand should control,
despite the absence of a demand in the operative pleading.
Court holds that it did not commit clear legal error in
denying as moot the Motion to Strike Jury Demand.
Accordingly, the Motion for Reconsideration will be denied.
RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
filed his original putative class action complaint in New
Jersey state court on January 25, 2013. It undisputedly
contained a jury demand. It also asserted no less than 33
counts, all asserting state law causes of action.
March 7, 2013, Defendants removed the suit from state court,
asserting that this Court has federal question subject matter
jurisdiction on the basis of ERISA complete preemption, as
well as diversity of citizenship subject matter jurisdiction
pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. 1332(d).
Plaintiff initially moved to remand. But then, prior to the
Court ruling on the motion, Plaintiff filed his “First
Amended Class Action Complaint” which, by
Plaintiff's own admission, mooted the asserted basis for
the Motion to Remand, and accordingly Plaintiff withdrew the
motion. [See Docket #16] This First Amended Class Action
Complaint appears to be substantially similar to the original
complaint, in that it also asserts 33 state law claims and
contains a jury demand.
moved “for summary judgment or in the alternative to
dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).” [Docket #
18] The Order deciding the motion states:
“Defendants' Motion is GRANTED-IN-PART such that
all claims of Plaintiffs are dismissed as completely
preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of
1974 (“ERISA”) . . . Plaintiff Jay Minerley is
GRANTED LEAVE TO AMEND the complaint within thirty (30) days
to state a claim under ERISA § 502, 29 U.S.C. §
1132.” [Docket #46]
30 days later, Plaintiff filed his Second Amended Class
Action Complaint which asserts only six counts -- all claims
pursuant to ERISA -- and contains no jury demand. [Docket
#50] This undisputedly is the operative complaint.
Defendants' Answer to the Second Amended Class Action
Complaint [Docket #86] also contains no jury demand.
Defendants filed a “Motion to Strike Jury
Demand.” On April 11, 2017, in a one-page order, this
Court denied as moot the motion stating, “neither the
Second Amended Complaint, nor Defendants' Answer thereto,
contains a jury demand. See generally Fed. R. Civ.
P. 38, ‘Right to A Jury Trial; Demand.'”
District, Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) governs motions for
reconsideration. Local Civil Rule 7.1(i) will apply rather
than Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59 where no final
judgment has been entered, but only a partial grant or denial
of summary judgment. See Warner v. Twp. of S.
Harrison, 885 F.Supp.2d 725, 747-48 (D.N.J. 2012).
However, the standard for evaluating the request is the same.
scope of a motion for reconsideration . . . is extremely
limited.” Blystone v. Horn, 664 F.3d 397, 415
(3d Cir. 2011). “The purpose of a motion for
reconsideration is ‘to correct manifest errors of law
or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.'”
Lazaridis v. Wehmer, 591 F.3d 666, 669 (3d Cir.
2010) (citing Max's Seafood Cafe ex rel. Lou-Ann,
Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)). A
motion for reconsideration “must rely on one of three
grounds: (1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2)
the availability of new evidence; or (3) the ...