United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
JAY C. ZAINEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a Motion for Reconsideration (Rec. Doc.
66) filed by Defendants Pel Hughes Printing, LLC and
John Victor Hughes (hereinafter collectively referred to as
“Defendants”). The Motion, set for submission on
January 9, 2019, is before the Court on the briefs without
oral argument. The Court has also received and reviewed
Defendants' reply (Rec. Doc. 70) and Plaintiff's
response (Rec. Doc. 71). Having considered the motion and
memoranda of counsel, the record, and the applicable law, the
Court finds that the Motion for Reconsideration (Rec.
Doc. 66) is GRANTED.
Perkins worked for Pel Hughes Printing, LLC
(“PHP”) as a Human Resource Administrator. (Rec.
Doc. 1, Exhibit A ¶ 5). On December 30, 2015, Perkins
was admitted into Ochsner Hospital's Outpatient
Behavioral Mental Unit Program due to alleged verbal abuse by
John Victor Hughes, president of PHP. (Id,
¶¶ 9-12). After being diagnosed with stress,
depression, and anxiety, Perkins remained in the hospital for
two weeks. (Id., ¶ 12). While this leave was
covered by the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”),
Hughes allegedly called Perkins' disabled daughter,
Aubrey Pitre, and told her that, “Unless [Perkins]
comes back to work soon, I'll have to let her go.”
(Id. ¶¶ 13-14). Perkins asserts that she
returned to work against her physician's advice on
January 18, 2016, out of fear of termination. (Id.,
assert that on January 18, 2016, Hughes' wife had a
conversation with Perkins which resulted in an
“agreement” that PHP would terminate Perkins'
employment after ninety days. (Rec. Doc. 25-5, p. 2). On
April 4, 2016, Perkins took a scheduled day off to receive an
epidural. (Rec. Doc. 1, Exhibit A ¶ 21). The next day,
Perkins experienced a mental breakdown and was admitted to
Ochsner Hospital for suicidal ideations. (Id.).
Perkins remained hospitalized until April 13, 2016. PHP
terminated Perkins' employment on May 2, 2016.
(Id., ¶¶ 21, 26).
filed suit alleging that Defendants violated the FMLA
regarding the leave she took in January 2016 and that
Defendants intentionally inflicted emotional distress.
(Id. ¶¶ 14, 32). Defendants filed a Motion
for Summary Judgment on all of Plaintiff's claims. (Rec.
Doc. 25). Plaintiff filed an opposition to the motion (Rec.
Doc. 61) and Defendants replied (Rec. Doc. 64). On December
4, 2018, this Court granted summary judgment in part as to
Plaintiff's claims under the FMLA and denied summary
judgment in part as to Plaintiff's claim for intentional
infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”). (Rec.
Doc. 65). Defendants now move this Court to reconsider the
judgment regarding the denial of summary judgment on
Plaintiff's claim for IIED.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not recognize a motion
for reconsideration. Bass v. United States Dep't of
Agric., 211 F.3d 959, 962 (5th Cir. 2000). Nevertheless,
the Fifth Circuit has treated a motion for reconsideration as
a motion to alter or amend judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure when filed twenty-eight
days after entry of the judgment from which relief is being
sought. Hamilton Plaintiffs v. Williams Plaintiffs,
147 F.3d 367, 371 n.10 (5th Cir. 1998); see also Fed.R.Civ.P.
59(e). A Rule 59(e) motion may be granted on four grounds:
“(1) to correct manifest errors of law or fact upon
which judgment is based, (2) the availability of new
evidence, (3) the need to prevent manifest injustice, or (4)
an intervening change in controlling law.” Lines v.
Fairfield Ins. Co., No. 08-1045, 2010 WL 4338636, at *1
(E.D. La. Oct. 21, 2010) (citing Peterson v. Cigna Group
Ins., No. 99-2112, 2002 WL 1268404, at *2 (E.D. La. June
5, 2002)). “The Court enjoys considerable discretion in
granting or denying such a motion.” Gabarick v.
Laurin Mar. (America) Inc., No. 08-4007, 2010 WL
5437391, at *5 (E.D. La. Dec. 23, 2010) (citing
Boyd's Bit Serv., Inc. v. Specialty Rental Tool &
Supply, Inc., 332 F.Supp.2d 938, 939 (W.D. La 2004)).
The Fifth Circuit has held that a Rule 59(e) motion is not
the proper vehicle for “rehashing evidence, legal
theories, or arguments that could have been offered or raised
before the entry of judgment.” Templet v. HydroChem
Inc., 367 F.3d 473, 479 (5th Cir. April 2004).
Order and Reasons (Rec. Doc. 65), the Court found that
Plaintiff's opposition to Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment was based primarily on her self-serving
affidavit. Thus, the Court ordered Perkins to submit to a
deposition within the following forty-five days. (Rec. Doc.
65, p. 6). In the instant motion, Defendants assert that
Perkins was deposed prior to submission of her opposition,
and she is still unable to present evidence in support of her
claim for IIED. (Rec. Doc. 66, p. 1). Upon the Court's
request, Defendants' counsel provided the Court with a
copy of Perkins' entire deposition. Considering the new
evidence, the Court now takes under consideration the Motion
for Summary Judgment (Rec. Doc. 25) regarding Perkins'
claim for IIED.
judgment is appropriate only if “the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on
file, together with the affidavits, if any, ” when
viewed in the light most favorable to the non-movant,
“show that there is no genuine issue as to any material
fact.” TIG Ins. Co. v. Sedgwick James, 276
F.3d 754, 759 (5th Cir.2002) (citing Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249-50 (1986)). A dispute
about a material fact is “genuine” if the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the non-moving party. Id. (citing
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). The court must draw all
justifiable inferences in favor of the non-moving party.
Id. (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255).
Once the moving party has initially shown “that there
is an absence of evidence to support the non-moving
party's cause, ” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986), the non-movant must come forward
with “specific facts” showing a genuine factual
issue for trial. Id. (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e);
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio, 475
U.S. 574, 587 (1986)). Conclusory allegations and denials,
speculation, improbable inferences, unsubstantiated
assertions, and legalistic argumentation do not adequately
substitute for specific facts showing a genuine issue for
trial. Id. (citing SEC v. Recile, 10 F.3d
1093, 1097 (5th Cir.1993)).
Intentional Infliction of ...