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Robinson v. Penske Truck Leasing Co, LP

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

November 2, 2018

GEORGE ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
PENSKE TRUCK LEASING CO. LP, et al., Defendants.

          John J. Kane, Esq. MARTIN, KANE & KUPER, ESQS. Attorney for Plaintiff

          Laurence Todd Bennett, Esq. WEBER GALLAGHER SIMPSON STAPLETON FIRES & NEWBY Attorney for Defendants Penske Truck Leasing Co, LP, McCarthy Tire Service Company, Inc., and Kevin T. Hayes, Jr.

          Kenneth M. Portner, Esq. WEBER GALLAGHER SIMPSON STAPLETON FIRES & NEWBY Attorney for Defendants McCarthy Tire Service Company, Inc., and Kevin T. Hayes, Jr.

          Kevin M. McGoldrick, Esq. MARSHALL DENNEHEY WARNER COLEMAN & GOGGIN Attorney for Defendant USAA Insurance Company

          MEMORANDUM OPINION UPON RECONSIDERATION

          JEROME B. SIMANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court by way of motion by Defendants McCarthy Tire Service Company and Kevin T. Hayes (hereinafter, collectively, “Moving Defendants”), seeking reconsideration of the Court's Order of September 12, 2018, remanding this matter to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, Docket No. L-002451-18, for further proceedings. (See Order [Docket Item 21], 3.) The principal issue to be decided is whether the Court's prior decision should be “altered or amended” based on “the availability of new evidence” or “the need to . . . prevent manifest injustice.”[1]U.S. ex rel. Shumann v. Astrazeneca Pharm. L.P., 769 F.3d 837, 848-49 (3d Cir. 2014) (citing Max's Seafood Café ex rel. Lou- Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)). The so-called “new evidence” is the fact that on September 13, 2018, one day after remand, the non-diverse defendant, which had deprived this Court of diversity jurisdiction, was voluntarily dismissed upon the matter's return to the Superior Court. For the following reasons, the Court will deny Moving Defendants' motion for reconsideration:

         1. Factual and Procedural Background.[2] On September 5, 2018, the Court issued an Order to Show Cause, noting that

Defendant United Service Automobile Association (“USAA”), improperly pled as “USAA Insurance Company, ” (see Answer to Plaintiff's Complaint on Behalf of Defendant USAA [Docket Item 4]), is a reciprocal insurance exchange considered to be a citizen of all fifty states, and is therefore considered to be a citizen of New Jersey, see Cady v. American Family Ins. Co., 771 F.Supp.2d 1129, 1131 (D. Ariz. 2011) (citing cases from the Second, Fifth and Tenth Circuits and finding that USAA is a reciprocal insurance exchange, which “in its pure form . . . is a web of contractual relationships between subscribers who agree to insure one another, consummated through a common agent with power of attorney, ” and because USAA is an unincorporated association with members in all fifty states, it is considered a citizen of all fifty states), see also Chubb Custom Ins. Co. v. United Servs. Auto. Ass'n, No. 05-3044, 2005 WL 2475314, at *2-3 (D.N.J. Oct. 5, 2005) (dismissing USAA for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because USAA “is an unincorporated association with members in all 50 states” and the plaintiff “failed to meet its burden of proving [diversity] jurisdiction.”)

(Order to Show Cause [Docket Item 18], 1-2.) Moving Defendants' “response to the Court's Order to Show Cause [Docket Item 20], [did] not contest that USAA is considered a citizen of New Jersey.” (Order [Docket Item 21], 2.) Therefore, the Court held that this case “should be remanded to the Superior Court of New Jersey, ” because “diversity jurisdiction was not present ‘at the time the petition for removal was filed.'” (Id. at 3 (quoting Granovsky v. Pfizer, Inc., 631 F.Supp.2d 554, 559 (D.N.J. 2009)).)

         2. Standard of Review. Local Civil Rule 7.1 allows a party to seek a motion for reconsideration or re-argument of “matter[s] or controlling decisions which the party believes the Judge or Magistrate Judge has overlooked . . . .” L. Civ. R. 7.1(i). Whether to grant a motion for reconsideration is a matter within the Court's discretion, but it should only be granted where such facts or legal authority were indeed presented but overlooked. See DeLong v. Raymond Int'l Inc., 622 F.2d 1135, 1140 (3d Cir. 1980), overruled on other grounds by Croker v. Boeing Co., 662 F.2d 975 (3d Cir. 1981); see also Williams v. Sullivan, 818 F.Supp. 92, 93 (D.N.J. 1993).

         To prevail on a motion for reconsideration, the movant must show:

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

U.S. ex rel. Shumann v. Astrazeneca Pharm. L.P., 769 F.3d 837, 848-49 (3d Cir. 2014) (citing Max's Seafood Café ex rel. Lou- Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)). The standard of review involved in a motion for reconsideration is high and relief is to be granted sparingly. U.S. v. Jones, 158 F.R.D. 309, 314 (D.N.J. 1994). “The Court will grant a motion for reconsideration only where its prior decision has overlooked a factual or legal issue that may alter the disposition of the matter. The word ‘overlooked' is the operative term in the Rule.” Andreyko v. Sunrise Sr. Living, Inc., 993 F.Supp.2d 475, 478 (D.N.J. 2014) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). Mere disagreement with the Court's decision is not a basis for reconsideration. U.S. v. Compaction Sys. Corp., 88 F.Supp.2d 339, 345 (D.N.J. 1999).

         3. Discussion. Moving ...


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