United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
ZAINEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is a Motion for Reconsideration (Rec. Doc.
72) filed by Plaintiff Kathy Perkins. Defendants Pel
Hughes Printing, LLC and John Victor Hughes (herein after
collectively referred to as “Defendants”) oppose
the motion (Rec. Doc. 78). The Motion, set for submission on
February 6, 2019, is before the Court on the briefs without
oral argument. Having considered the motion and memoranda of
counsel, the opposition, the record, and the applicable law,
the Court finds that the Motion for Reconsideration
(Rec. Doc. 72) is DENIED.
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 Perkins' claims. (Rec.
Doc. 25). Perkins 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
Perkins' claims under the FMLA and denied summary
judgment in part as to Perkins' claim for intentional
infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”). (Rec.
Doc. 65). On January 23, 2019, the Court granted
Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration (Rec. Doc. 66) and
granted summary judgment in part as to Perkins' claim for
IIED. (Rec. Doc. 74). Perkins now moves this Court to
reconsider the judgment regarding the grant of summary
judgment on Perkins' claims under the FMLA.
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).
argues that the record contained circumstantial evidence that
she prematurely returned to work in violation of the FMLA.
(Rec. Doc. 72-1, p. 3). Perkins cites to Exhibit A: Kathy
Perkins' Declaration to assert that her conduct is
compelling evidence to support an interference claim under
the FMLA. (Id.). Perkins also asserts that the lack
of direct evidence is not fatal to her retaliation claim.
Again, Perkins cites to Exhibit A: Kathy Perkins'
Declaration to assert that she believed her employment was
terminated because she exercised her FMLA right.
(Id. at 4).
Circuit long standing precedent establishes great discretion
in this Court to grant or deny motions for reconsideration
and that the motion should not be used to re-litigate old
matters. Also pursuant to Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, Perkins did not timely file her motion
within twenty-eight days of the Order and Reasons (Rec. Doc.
65). The Order was filed on December 5, 2018, and Perkins
filed her Motion for Reconsideration (Rec. Doc. 72) on
January 21, 2019. Considering the legal standard and the
untimeliness of the motion, the Court denies Plaintiffs
Motion for Reconsideration (Rec. Doc. 72).
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion for