Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Evans v. Trinity Industries, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Norfolk Division

November 25, 2015

JOSE EVANS & VICTORIA EVANS, Plaintiffs,
v.
TRINITY INDUSTRIES, INC. & TRINITY HIGHWAY PRODUCTS, LLC, Defendants

          For Plaintiffs: Jeffrey A. Breit, Esquire, Michael F. Imprevento, Esquire, Virginia Beach, VA; Colleen A. Clark, Esquire, Dallas, TX.

         For Defendants: Matthew B. Kirsner, Esquire, Edward J. Longosz, II, Esquire, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, Richmond, VA; Russell C. Brown, Esquire, Henderson, TX.

         MEMORANDUM ORDER

         Rebecca Beach Smith, Chief United States District Judge.

         On September 29, 2015, the court issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order denying the Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (the " September 29 Opinion" ). ECF No. 43. The Defendants now seek reconsideration of the September 29 Opinion and ask that the court enter judgment on the pleadings in their favor. ECF No. 45.[1] For the reasons set forth herein, the Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED.[2]

         Also pending before the court is the Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint. ECF No. 49. The Defendants oppose this Motion primarily because they argue that the court should grant judgment on the pleadings in their favor. Because the court denies the Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration, and for the reasons stated herein, the Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint is GRANTED.

         I. DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

         A. Legal Standard

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b), " a district court retains the power to reconsider and modify its interlocutory judgments . . . at any time prior to final judgment when such is warranted." Am. Canoe Ass'n v. Murphy Farms, Inc., 326 F.3d 505, 514-15 (4th Cir. 2003). The resolution of motions to reconsider pursuant to Rule 54(b) is " committed to the discretion of the district court," which may be exercised as justice requires. Id. at 515 (citing Moses H. Cone Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 12, 103 S.Ct. 927, 74 L.Ed.2d 765 (1983)).

         However, the courts generally do not depart from a prior interlocutory ruling unless " (1) a subsequent trial produces substantially different evidence, (2) controlling authority has since made a contrary decision of law applicable to the issue, or (3) the prior decision was clearly erroneous and would work manifest injustice." Am. Canoe Ass'n, 326 F.3d at 515 (quoting Sejman v. Warner-Lambert Co., Inc., 845 F.2d 66, 69 (4th Cir. 1988)); see TomTom, Inc. v. AOT Sys. GmbH, 17 F.Supp.3d 545, 546 (E.D. Va. 2014); Al Shimari v. CACI Int'l, Inc., 933 F.Supp.2d 793, 798 (E.D. Va. 2013); Netscape Commc'ns Corp. v. ValueClick, Inc., 704 F.Supp.2d 544, 546 (E.D. Va. 2010); McAfee v. Boczar, No. 3:11cv646, 2012 WL 2505263, at *2 (E.D. Va. June 28, 2012). Moreover, " the court should not reevaluate the basis upon which it made a prior ruling, if the moving party merely seeks to reargue a previous claim." United States v. Smithfield Foods, Inc., 969 F.Supp. 975, 977 (E.D. Va. 1997) (citing Glenn v. Inland Container Corp., 1992 WL 521517, at *1 (E.D. Va. May 13, 1992), aff'd, 991 F.2d 789 (4th Cir. 1993)).

         Absent a significant change in the law or the facts since the original submission to the court, granting a motion for reconsideration is only appropriate where, for example, the court " has patently misunderstood a party, or has made a decision outside the adversarial issues presented to the Court by the parties, or has made an error not of reasoning but of apprehension." Smithfield Foods, 969 F.Supp. at 977 (quoting Above the Belt, Inc. v. Mel Bohannan Roofing, Inc., 99 F.R.D. 99, 101 (E.D. Va. 1983)). " Such problems 'rarely arise and the motion to reconsider should be equally rare.'" TomTom, Inc., 17 F.Supp.3d at 546 (quoting Above the Belt, 99 F.R.D. at 101).

         B. Analysis

         The Defendants advance several arguments in support of their Motion, including: (1) statutes of limitations in Virginia " are to be strictly enforced, and that 'any doubt must be resolved in favor of enforcement of the statute'" ; (2) the Plaintiffs knew they were injured at the time of the accident and therefore the Defendants' misrepresentations were merely " favorable evidence" ; and (3) the Defendants' " omission[s]" to the Federal Highway Administration (" FHWA" ) are not, as a matter of law, " affirmative act[s]" that can toll the statute of limitations. Mem. Supp. at 2-3, ECF No. 46. These arguments are the same as those presented in the Defendants' briefing in support of their Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. See Mem. Supp. of Mot. J. Pleadings at 4-7, ECF No. 29; Reply to Mot. J. Pleadings at 2-6, ECF No. 41. The court carefully considered all of these arguments in the September 29 Order, and will not now " rethink what [it has] already thought through." TomTom, Inc., 17 F.Supp.3d at 546 (quoting Above the Belt, 99 F.R.D. at 101).[3]

         The same holds true for the Defendants' argument, made in their Reply brief, that the Plaintiffs' claims are barred by the Texas statute of limitations. Reply at 9-10, ECF No. 52. The Defendants did not raise this in their Memorandum in Support of the instant Motion, nor did they address the issue in more than a cursory fashion in the briefing for their Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. In any event, the court has already addressed the issue in the September 29 Order, at 15-17, and the Defendants have offered no legitimate grounds to reconsider it.

         The one argument the Defendants now advance that they did not present in their earlier briefing relates to the court's statement that " [t]he verdict of the jury in the qui tam case forms the crux of the Plaintiffs' arguments in opposition to" the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. Sept. 29 Op. at 5. In the instant Motion, the Defendants argue that the verdict in the qui tam case " contained no finding that the ET plus end terminal . . . was defective, unreasonably dangerous, or failed to perform as intended." Mem. Supp. at 3. The Defendants either fundamentally misunderstand the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.