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Leo v. Jeld-Wen, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

August 16, 2019

RONALD AND KATHLEEN LEO
v.
JELD-WEN, INC.

          RULING AND ORDER

          BRIAN A. JACKSON, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         Before the Court is Plaintiffs' Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law and, Alternatively, Motion for New Trial. (Doc. 84). Also before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment (Doc. 83). Finally, before the Court is Defendant's Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law, or in the Alternative, Motion for New Trial and/or Remittitur. (Doc. 81). Oral argument is not required. For the reasons stated below, both parties' Motions are DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case involves allegations of redhibitory defects and breach of an express warranty covering certain windows purchased by Ronald and Kathleen Leo ("Plaintiffs") from the manufacturer, Jeld-Wen ("Defendant"). A jury trial was conducted in this matter, after which the jury determined that the windows purchased from Defendant contained a redhibitory defect, but that Plaintiffs time to bring a claim in redhibition had tolled. (Doc. 75). The jury further found that Defendant breached the terms of the warranty it issued to Plaintiffs, which caused direct damages to Plaintiffs' home in the amount of $335, 000.00. (Id.).

         Both Plaintiffs and Defendant move for judgements as a matter of law, or in the alternative, new trials. Plaintiffs additionally move to have the judgement altered or amended.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A. Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law

         Entry of judgment as a matter of law is appropriate if the defendant shows that a reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for the plaintiffs on the issue. See FED. R. ClV. P. 50(a). In deciding if the defendant has made such a showing, the court draws reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs. See Alonso v. Westcost Corp., 920 F.3d 878, 882 (5th Cir. 2019). Because the court's jurisdiction is based on diversity of citizenship, the court looks to Louisiana law "for the kind of evidence that must be produced to support a verdict." Goodner v. Hyundai Motor Co., 650 F.3d 1034, 1040 (5th Cir. 2011).

         B. Motion for a New Trial

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(a)(1)(A) provides that the court "may, on motion, grant a new trial on all or some of the issues - and to any party - . . . after a jury trial, for any reason for which a new trial has heretofore been granted in an action at law in federal court." Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(a)(1)(A). "The decision to grant or deny a motion for new trial is within the sound discretion of the trial court. . ." Pryor v. Trane Co., 138 F.3d 1024, 1026 (5th Cir. 1998).

         C. Motion to Alter or Amend a Judgment

         Concerning a motion to alter or amend a judgment "such a 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." Simon v. United States, 891 F.2d 1154, 1159 (5th Cir. 1990). Rather, Rule 59(e) "serve[s] the narrow purpose of allowing a party to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence." Waltman v. Int'l Paper Co., 875 F.2d 468, 473 (5th Cir. 1989) (internal quotations omitted). Reconsideration of a judgment after its entry is an extraordinary remedy that should be used sparingly. Clancy v. Employers Health Ins. Co., 101 F.Supp.2d 463, 465 (E.D.La.2000).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Plaintiffs' Motion for Judgement as ...


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