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Kaufman v. Columbia Memorial Hospital

United States District Court, N.D. New York

June 19, 2014

STEWART A. KAUFMAN, M.D., Plaintiff,
v.
THE COLUMBIA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, d/b/a COLUMBIA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, Defendant.

GLEASON, DUNN, WALSH & O'SHEA, RONALD G. DUNN, ESQ., PETER N. SINCLAIR, ESQ., Albany, New York, Attorneys for Plaintiff.

GARFUNKEL WILD, P.C., ANDREW L. ZERLING, ESQ., JASON HSI, ESQ., Great Neck, New York, Attorneys for Defendant.

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

MAE A. D'AGOSTINO, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Stewart A. Kaufman commenced this action on June 13, 2011, alleging that he had been discriminated against based on his age in violation of the Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621-634 ("ADEA") and N.Y. Exec. Law § 296 ("New York State Human Rights Law" or "NYSHRL"), and based on his disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, ("ADA"), codified at 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. and the NYSHRL. Plaintiff also pled a claim for breach of contract, and defendants counterclaimed for unjust enrichment. Following discovery, defendants moved for summary judgement on each of Plaintiff's claims, and on the unjust enrichment counterclaim. See Dkt. No. 40. In a February 19, 2014, Memorandum-Decision and Order, this Court granted in part and denied in part defendants' motion for summary judgment. See Dkt. No. 52 ("February 19 Order"). The February 19 Order dismissed Plaintiff's age and disability discrimination claims and Plaintiff's claims against defendants Jay Cahalan and Norman A. Chapin.[1] As set forth in the February 19 Order, the Court found triable issues of fact with respect to Plaintiff's breach of contract claim and Defendant Columbia Memorial Hospital's ("CMH") unjust enrichment counterclaim. Trial on these remaining claims is set for August 11, 2014.[2] Presently before the Court are Plaintiff's and Defendant CMH's respective motions for reconsideration of the February 19 Order. See Dkt. Nos. 57, 58. For the reasons stated herein, those motions are denied.

II. BACKGROUND

The Court assumes the parties' familiarity with the background of this case, as detailed in the February 19 Order, and will discuss only those allegations and facts relevant to disposition of the pending motions.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Standard

Rule 60(b) provides that, upon a motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party from a final judgment, order or proceeding for the following reasons:

(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence...;
> (3) fraud..., misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party;
(4) the judgment is void;
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged;... or
(6) any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b).

"[A] motion to reconsider should not be granted where the moving party seeks solely to relitigate an issue already decided." Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995). Relief under Rule 60 is considered "extraordinary judicial relief[.]" Nemaizer v. Baker, 793 F.2d 58, 61 (2d Cir. 1986). For that reason, the motion will generally be denied unless the moving party can show that the court overlooked facts or controlling law that "might reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the court." Shrader, 70 F.3d at 257 (citations omitted). Generally, "[a] court may justifiably reconsider its previous ruling if: (1) there is an intervening change in controlling law; (2) new evidence not previously available comes to light; or (3) it becomes necessary to remedy a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice." Delaney v. Selsky, 899 F.Supp. 923, 925 (N.D.N.Y. 1995). Motions to vacate or to reconsider should not be granted if a moving party seeks only to relitigate an issue that has already been fully considered by the court. Shrader, 70 F.3d at 257. The Second Circuit has warned that a Rule 60 motion may not be used as a substitute for appeal and that a claim based on legal error alone is inadequate. United Airlines, Inc. v. Brien, 588 F.3d 158, 176 (2d Cir. 2009).

A party may only move for reconsideration of an order pursuant to Rule 60(b) if that order is final. See Indem. Ins. Co. of N. Am. v. Reisley, 153 F.2d 296, 299 (2d Cir. 1946). An order that "adjudicate[s] fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parities, " is not a final order. Frazier v. Turning Stone Casino, No. 02-131, 2005 WL 2033483, *1 (N.D.N.Y. Aug. 16, 2005). Rule 60 does not apply to the instant motions because the order in question is not a final one as it partially denied the motion for summary judgement. See Floyd v. City of New York, 813 F.Supp.2d 457 (S.D.N.Y.) (noting that because order granted in part and denied in part defendants' motion for summary ...


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