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.

Gentry v. Hyundai Motor America, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia

April 6, 2017

JOHN WILLIAM GENTRY, ET AL., Plaintiffs,
v.
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA, INC., Defendant. ALIM ABDURAHMAN, ET AL., Plaintiffs,
v.
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA, INC., ET AL., Defendants. JIHAD ABDUL-MUMIT, ET AL., Plaintiffs,
v.
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA, INC., ET AL., Defendants.

          ORDER

          NORMAN K. MOON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiffs in each of these three cases move for reconsideration under Rule 59(e) of the Court's January 23, 2017 opinion (January Opinion) dismissing the Abdurahman and Abdul-Mumit cases in whole and the Gentry case in part. (See dkt. 111 & 112 in Gentry[1]). The facts and procedural history of this case are lengthy, well-known to the parties, and discussed thoroughly in the January Opinion, so they will not be repeated here.

         Plaintiffs' motions often either reargue points already exhaustively briefed prior to the January Opinion, or raise new arguments that should have been presented earlier. Plaintiffs' arguments that do not fall within those categories are without merit. For those reasons, the motions for reconsideration will be denied.

         Plaintiffs' motions are styled as motions to alter or amend a judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). That Rule is inapplicable to Gentry, because the Court did not enter judgment in that case within the meaning of Rule 54. Rather, the Court granted in part and denied in part Defendant HMA's motion to dismiss. As such, the ruling in Gentry is an interlocutory one under Rule 54(b), “and the decision to revisit such an order is committed to the Court's discretion as part of its inherent authority.” Wootten v. Virginia, 168 F.Supp.3d 890, 893 (W.D. Va. 2016) (compiling cases). Courts have “distilled the grounds for a Rule 54(b) motion for reconsideration to (1) an intervening change in the law, (2) new evidence that was not previously available, or (3) correction of a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice.” Id. Reconsideration motions are “disfavored” and “should be granted sparingly.” Id. As this Court recently summarized, a motion for reconsideration:

is not meant to re-litigate issues already decided, provide a party the chance to craft new or improved legal positions, highlight previously-available facts, or otherwise award a proverbial “second bite at the apple” to a dissatisfied litigant. It is inappropriate where it merely reiterates previous arguments. It is not an occasion to present a better and more compelling argument that the party could have presented in the original briefs, or to introduce evidence that could have been addressed or presented previously. Aggrieved parties may not put a finer point on their old arguments and dicker about matters decided adversely to them.

         In sum, a party who fails to present his strongest case in the first instance generally has no right to raise new theories or arguments in a motion to reconsider. Id. (internal citations and quotations omitted). As discussed below, the motion in Gentry does not pass muster under these standards.

         Turning to Abdurahman and Abdul-Mumit, the January Opinion and accompanying order dismissed those cases, making a Rule 59(e) motion the proper vehicle for review. The standard of review, however, is virtually the same as articulated above regarding Rule 54(b) motions for reconsideration. See Mayfield v. Nat'l Ass'n for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc., 674 F.3d 369, 378 (4th Cir. 2012); Pac. Ins. Co. v. Am. Nat. Fire Ins. Co., 148 F.3d 396, 403 (4th Cir. 1998).

         I. The Court Properly Ruled on Those Issues over Which It Had Jurisdiction.

         Mr. Gentry's first argument is that that Court exceeded the scope of the MDL's remand and dismissed claims over which it lacks jurisdiction. (See dkt. 112 (Pls' Br.) at 4). The contention fails.

         As Defendant HMA observes, “the Court never purported to reach the claims of non-remanded plaintiffs and expressly cited in its Opinion the scope of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation's remand.” (Dkt. 113 (Defs' Br.) at 2). The Court made quite clear what classes of claims were before it, and that Mr. Gentry “is the only remaining named plaintiff in Gentry.” (January Opinion at 2, 3, 4).

         The fact of the matter is that there are no pre-November 2 claims left before the Court in Gentry. That is not a function of the January Opinion, but of the Complaint itself and the identity of the named plaintiffs. Mr. Gentry falls within the putative post-November 2 class because he bought his car in 2013. (Gentry Complaint ¶ 8). So the January Opinion addressed whether he stated claims for himself and as a putative representative of the putative post- November 2 class.

         The four other named plaintiffs-Scott, Gilleland, Bowe, and DeSouto-are all members of the pre-November 2, 2012 class. (Gentry Complaint ¶¶ 14-17). But as the Court made clear, those four plaintiffs are satisfied with the MDL settlement and have not opted out of it. (January Opinion at 4). Their claims, then, are not before the Court.

         The upshot is that there are no pre-November 2 claims plaintiffs before the Court. The only named plaintiffs in this lawsuit who-given their purchase dates-could represent a class of pre-November 2 opt-outs are not doing so; thus, there are simply no pre-November 2 disputes to adjudicate. See Shelton v. Pargo, Inc., 582 F.2d 1298, 1305 (4th Cir. 1978) (observing that named plaintiffs in putative class action “are the representative parties, without whose presence as plaintiffs the case could not proceed as a class action”); Feamster v. Compucom Sys., Inc., No. 7:15-CV-00564, 2016 WL 722190, at *5 (W.D. Va. Feb. 19, 2016) (“If all three named plaintiffs are barred from bringing a collective action, the case simply may not proceed in that form.”).[2]Put more succinctly, it is as if the Complaint in Gentry does not contain any pre-November 2 claims. That is not because this Court dismissed them, but rather because claims of a putative pre-November 2 opt-out class cannot be adjudicated without a class representative, which is lacking.

         II. The Court Correctly Applied ...


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.