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Romeo v. Aid To Developmentally Disabled, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

January 7, 2015

JEAN ROMEO, individually and as the Administratrix of the estate of John Prodan, and the ESTATE OF JOHN PRODAN, on behalf of the decedent, JOHN PRODAN, Plaintiffs,
v.
AID TO THE DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED, INC.; BOARD OF DIRECTORS, Aid to the Developmentally Disabled, Inc.; INDIVIDUAL GROUP HOME LIVING PROGRAM, INC.; BOARD OF DIRECTORS, Individual Group Home Living Program, Inc.; DONALD REIB, individually and in his capacity as Executive Director, Aid to the Developmentally Disabled; SALLYANN BURGESS, individually and in her capacity as Quality Assurance Officer, Aid to the Developmentally Disabled; STACEY ROHDE, individually and in her capacity as Resident Manager, Aid to the Developmentally Disabled; PAULA WANAT, individually and in her capacity as Program Director, QMRP, Aid to the Developmentally Disabled; STEPHANIE BOLOGNESE, Nursing Coordinator, Aid to the Developmentally Disabled; JAMES PHILIPS, individually and in his capacity as Direct Care Counselor, Aid to the Developmentally Disabled; MARGARET PROKOP R.N., individually and in her capacity as Registered Nurse, Aid to the Developmentally Disabled; WALTER STOCKTON, individually and in his capacity as Executive Director, Independent Group Home of Long Island; WILLIAM HERRICK, individually and in his capacity as Quality Assurance Officer, Independent Group Home of Long Island; VICTOR TAYLOR, individually; GERALD HUBER, individually; ROBERT LOPEZ, individually, Defendants.

Harriet A. Gilliam, Esq., Law Office of Harriet A. Gilliam, Riverhead, NY, For Plaintiffs.

Lewis R. Silverman, Esq., Christopher James Soverow, Esq., Gerald Stephen Smith, Esq., Rutherford & Christie, LLP, New York, NY, For Defendants The ADD Defendants.

David Charles Blaxill, Esq., Hardin Kundala McKeon & Poletto P.A., New York, NY, The IGHL Defendants.

Toni E. Logue, Esq., New York State Attorney General's Office, Mineola, NY, The State Defendants.

No appearances. IGHL's Board of Directors.

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

JOANNA SEYBERT, District Judge.

On December 28, 2011, plaintiffs Jean Romeo, individually and as the Administratix of the estate of John Prodan, and the Estate of John Prodan (together, "Plaintiffs") commenced this action against two mental health aid entities-defendants Aid to the Developmentally Disabled, Inc. ("ADD") and Independent Group Home Living Program, Inc. ("IGHL")-and several individual defendants employed by ADD, IGHL, and the State of New York. Plaintiffs alleged various federal and state law claims arising out of Mr. Prodan's death while he was in the custody of ADD. By Memorandum and Order dated March 22, 2013 (the "March 22nd Order"), the Court granted a motion to dismiss filed by the State Defendants[1] and dismissed Plaintiffs' federal claims against those defendants with prejudice. (Docket Entry 48.) By Memorandum and Order dated October 3, 2013 (the "October 3rd Order"), the Court subsequently granted motions to dismiss filed by the ADD Defendants[2] and the IGHL Defendants, [3] dismissed Plaintiffs' remaining federal claims with prejudice, and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' remaining state law claims. (Docket Entry 55.) On October 9, 2013, the Clerk of the Court entered judgment in favor of Defendants (the "October 9th Judgment"). (Docket Entry 56.)

Plaintiffs now move pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6) for reconsideration of the October 3rd Order and to vacate the October 9th Judgment so that they may file a proposed Third Amended Complaint. (Docket Entry 57.) For the following reasons, Plaintiffs' motion is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

The Court assumes familiarity with the factual and procedural background of this case, which is detailed in the Court's March 22nd and October 3rd Orders. See Romeo v. Aid to the Developmentally Disabled, Inc., No. 11-CV-6340, 2013 WL 1209098 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 22, 2013) ("Romeo I"); Romeo v. Aid to the Developmentally Disabled, Inc., No. 11-CV-6340, 2013 WL 5532649 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 3, 2013) ("Romeo II"). The Court will briefly discuss the procedural history.

As noted, Plaintiffs commenced this action seeking redress for Mr. Prodan's death while he was in the custody of ADD. The Amended Complaint asserted claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the ADD Defendants and the State Defendants, claims for negligence against the ADD Defendants and the IGHL Defendants, and claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1985, 1986 and the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act ("PAIMI"), 42 U.S.C. § 10801, and for negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress against all Defendants. (Docket Entry 2.)

On April 13, 2012, the State Defendants moved to dismiss. (Docket Entry 14.) On March 22, 2013, the Court granted the State Defendants' motion in its entirety. See Romeo I, 2013 WL 1209098. The Court determined, inter alia, that the State Defendants were not subject to liability under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985, 1986 because neither ADD nor IGHL were state actors and that Mr. Prodan, therefore, was not in the custody of the State while he was in the custody of ADD and/or IGHL. Id. at *4-6. The Court further found that there is no private right of action under PAIMI. Id. at *7.

The ADD and IGHL Defendants subsequently filed letter motions to dismiss on April 2 and April 15, 2013, respectively, seeking dismissal of the federal claims against them under the "law of the case" doctrine and, with respect to the state law claims, either seeking dismissal for failure to state a claim or, in the alternative, requesting that the Court decline to extend supplemental jurisdiction over them.[4] (Docket Entries 50, 52.) On October 3, 2013, the Court dismissed with prejudice the federal claims against the ADD Defendants and IGHL Defendants based on the Court's prior rulings that the ADD Defendants and IGHL Defendants were not state actors and that PAIMI creates no privately enforceable federal rights. Romeo II, 2013 WL 5532649, at *2. The Court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' remaining state law claims and dismissed those claims without prejudice to refiling in state court. Id.

On October 9, 2013, the Clerk of the Court entered judgment in Defendants' favor in accordance with the Court's October 3rd Order and closed this case. (Docket Entry 56.) Six months later, on April 9, 2014, Plaintiffs filed the instant motion for reconsideration of the October 3rd Order and to vacate the October 9th Judgment so that Plaintiffs may file a proposed ...


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