United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
JUANEA L. BUTLER
DENKA PERFORMANCE ELASTOMER LLC; E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS AND COMPANY; ET AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
L. C. FELDMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is the plaintiff's Rule 54(b) motion to
reconsider the Court's January 3, 2019 Order and Reasons
denying remand to state court. For the reasons that follow,
the plaintiff's motion is frivolous and is hereby DENIED.
environmental tort litigation arises from the production of
neoprene at the Pontchartrain Works Facility
(“PWF”) in St. John the Baptist Parish. Neoprene
production allegedly exposes those living in the vicinity of
the PWF to concentrated levels of chloroprene well above the
upper limit of acceptable risk, and may result in a risk of
cancer more than 800 times the national average.
L. Butler, a resident of LaPlace, Louisiana, sued seeking
class certification, damages, and injunctive relief in the
form of abatement of chloroprene releases from her industrial
neighbor, the PWF. The PWF is the only facility in the United
States still manufacturing neoprene, which is made from
chloroprene, and which the Environmental Protection Agency
has classified as a likely human carcinogen.
and DuPont jointly removed the lawsuit, invoking this
Court's diversity jurisdiction under the Class Action
Fairness Act (“CAFA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d).
On January 3, 2019, the Court denied the plaintiff's
motion to remand. The plaintiff now moves for this Court to
reconsider its Order denying remand.
54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the
plaintiff's motion to reconsider this Court's Order
and Reasons in which it denied the plaintiff's request to
remand to state court. Rule 54(b) states:
Judgement on Multiple Claims or Involving Multiple
When an action presents more than one claim for relief
whether as a claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, or third-party
claim or when multiple parties are involved, the court may
direct entry of a final judgment as to one or more, but fewer
than all, claims or parties only if the court expressly
determines that there is no just reason for delay. Otherwise,
any order or other decision, however designated, that
adjudicates fewer than all the parties does not end the
action as to any of the claims or parties and may be revised
at any time before the entry of a judgment adjudicating all
the claims and all the parties' rights and liabilities.
motion seeking reconsideration or revision of a district
court ruling is analyzed under Rule 59(e), if it seeks to
alter or amend a final judgment, or Rule 54(b), if it seeks
to revise an interlocutory order. See Cabral v.
Brennan, 853 F.3d 763, 766 (5th Cir. 2017)(determining
that the district court's erroneous application of the
“more exacting” Rule 59(e) standard to a motion
granting partial summary judgment was harmless error given
that the appellant was not harmed by the procedural error).
54(b) authorizes the district court to “revise at any
time...any order or other decision...that does not end the
action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b); Austin v. Kroger
Texas, L.P., 864 F.3d 326, 336 (5th Cir. 2017). The
Court “is free to reconsider and reverse its decision
for any reason it deems sufficient, even in the absence of
new evidence or an intervening change in or clarification of
the substantive law.” Austin, 864 F.3d at 336
(citing Lavespere v. Niagara Mach. & Tool Works,
Inc., 910 F.2d 167, 185 (5th Cir. 1990), abrogated
on other grounds, Little v. Liquid Air Corp.,
37 F.3d 1069, 1075 n.14 (5th Cir. 1994)(en banc)).
Compared to Rule 59(e),  “Rule 54(b)'s approach to the
interlocutory presentation of new arguments as the case
evolves [is] more flexible, reflecting the ‘inherent
power of the rendering district court to afford such relief
from interlocutory ...