United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Michael Vazquez, U.S.D.J.
matter comes before the Court by way of a motion for
reconsideration filed by Plaintiff Corinne Myers. D.E. 126.
Defendants Atlantic Health System ("Atlantic"),
Joseph Pasquarosa and Dorothy Zarillo filed a brief in
opposition. D.E. 128. The Court reviewed the submissions made
in support and in opposition to the motion, and considered
the motion without oral argument pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
78(b) and L. Civ. R. 78.1(b). For the reasons stated below,
Plaintiffs motion is DENIED.
case arose after Plaintiff, a nurse, was terminated from her
position at Morristown Medical Center ("MMC") due
to a suspicion by Defendants that Plaintiff was diverting
drugs. MMC is owned by Defendant Atlantic. Plaintiff contends
that she was actually terminated in retaliation for
second amended complaint (the "SAC") asserted
claims for (1) perceived disability under the Americans with
Disabilities Act and the New Jersey Law Against
Discrimination based on allegations that Defendants'
perceived Plaintiff to be a drug addict; (2) wrongful
termination under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee
Protection Act ("CEPA") due to the alleged
whistleblowing activities; and (3) multiple tort claims. D.E.
17. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment as to all
claims in the SAC, which the Court granted in its entirety.
D.E. 125. Through this motion, Plaintiff requests that the
Court reconsider its decision pertaining to one aspect of the
CEP A claim.
District of New Jersey, motions for reconsideration can be
made pursuant to Local Civil Rule 7.1(i). The rule provides
that such motions must be made within fourteen days of the
entry of an order. Substantively, a motion for
reconsideration is viable when one of three scenarios is
present: (1) an intervening change in the controlling law,
(2) the availability of new evidence not previously
available, or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or
prevent manifest injustice. Carmichael v. Everson,
No. 03-4787, 2004 WL 1587894, at *1 (D.N.J. May 21, 2004)
(citations omitted). A motion for reconsideration, however,
does not entitle a party to a second bite at the apple.
Therefore, a motion for reconsideration is inappropriate when
a party merely disagrees with a court's ruling or when a
party simply wishes to reargue or revisit its original
motion. Sch. Specialty, Inc. v. Ferrentino, No.
14-4507, 2015 WL 4602995, *2-3 (D.N.J. July 30, 2015);
see also Florham Park Chevron, Inc. v. Chevron
U.S.A., 680 F.Supp. 159, 162 (D.N.J. 1988).
summary judgment opinion, the Court concluded that Plaintiff
failed to establish a prima facie CEPA claim for two
separate whistleblowing activities. One activity involved the
care of an elderly patient, specifically, whether medical
staff provided an appropriate level of care while obtaining a
Do Not Resuscitate order ("DNR"). The other
involved Plaintiffs refusal to work in the
"step-down" unit. Opinion at 11-12, D.E. 124.
Plaintiff only seeks reconsideration as to whether she
established a. prima facie claim for the elderly
argues that the Court erred in concluding that she failed to
satisfy the first element of a. prima facie claim.
Plf s Br. at 2. To satisfy the first element of a. prima
facie case for a CEPA claim "a plaintiff must
identify the authority that provides a standard against which
the conduct of the defendant maybe measured." Tinio
v. Saint Joseph Reg'I Med. Ctr., 645 F.App'x
173, 178 (3d Cir. 2016) (quoting Hitesman v. Bridgeway,
Inc., 218 N.J. 8, 31 (2014)). A licensed health care
professional may satisfy this element by demonstrating that a
defendant's conduct or policy "constitutes
'improper quality of patient care', that is,
'violates any law or any rule, regulation or declaratory
ruling adopted pursuant to law, or any professional code of
ethics.'" Klein v. Univ. of Med. & Dentistry
of N.J., 377 N.J.Super. 28, 42 (App. Div. 2005) (citing
N.J.S.A. 34:19-3(c)(1), -2(f)). A plaintiff may also satisfy
this standard by identifying "a clear mandate of public
policy concerning the public health, safety, or
welfare." Hitesman, 218 N.J. at 33 (citing
N.J.S.A. 34:19-3(c)(3)). The public policy "must be
clearly identified and firmly grounded." Id. at
34 (quoting Mehlman v. Mobil Oil Corp., 153 N.J.
163, 181 (1993)); see also Tinio, 645 F.App'x at
178 ("In order for a substantial nexus to exist, the
mandate of public policy "cannot be vague" and must
"provide[ ] [a] standard by which ... a deficiency can
contends that Provision One of the American Nurses
Association ("ANA") Code of Ethics, and the related
Interpretive Statement 1.4 support her whistleblowing claim.
Plf s Br. at 2-3. Plaintiff, however, made the same argument
in opposition to Defendants' motion for summary judgment.
Plf s SJ Br. at 6-7. Thus, Plaintiff merely reasserts the
argument she previously made in the motion for summary
judgment. As the Court stated in its summary judgment
The ANA Code does not provide any general standards for
obtaining a DNR or treating patients while a DNR is obtained,
and it does not govern Atlantic's policies as to patient
care. Thus, "it provides no standard under which a
factfinder could determine whether plaintiff held an
objectively reasonable belief that [Atlantic] delivered an
'improper quality of patient care.'"
at 11 (citing Hitesman, 218 N.J. at 37). In her
motion for reconsideration, Plaintiff does not assert that
the Court overlooked any critical authorities or that it
committed a manifest error of law in concluding that the ANA
code did not support her CEPA claim. Thus, Plaintiff does not
assert a proper basis upon which the Court could reconsider
its decision regarding the ANA Code. See, e.g., In re
Hlywiak,573 F.Supp.2d 871, 873 (D.N.J. 2008)
("Mere disagreement with a court's decision should
be raised through the appellate process and is inappropriate
on a motion for reargument."); Schiano v. MBNA
Corp., No. 05-1771, 2006 WL 3831225, ...