United States District Court, E.D. New York
MAMIE JOHNSON. Plaintiff,
WAL-MART STORES EAST, LP, Defendant.
NICHOLAS G. GARAUFIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
January 10, 2018, the court issued a Memorandum and Order
(the "M&O") granting in part and denying in
part Defendant's motion for summary judgment. (Jan. 10,
2018, Mem. & Order ("M&O") (Dkt 44).) On
January 18, 2018, Defendant moved for reconsideration of the
court's conclusion that there is a genuine issue of fact
as to whether Defendant had actual notice of the hazard
giving rise to this litigation. (Mot. for Recons. ("Def.
Mot.") (Dkt. 45); Mem. in Supp. of Mot. ("Def.
Mem.") (Dkt. 46).) The court has reviewed
Defendant's motion for reconsideration and concludes that
it lacks merit. Accordingly, the motion is DENIED.
Civil Rule 6.3 provides that, within 14 days of the entry of
an order, a party may move for reconsideration by filing a
notice of motion accompanied by a memorandum identifying
"the matters or controlling decisions which counsel
believes the Court has overlooked." Local Civ. R. 6.3.
Reconsideration of a previous order is an "extraordinary
remedy to be employed sparingly in the interests of finality
and conservation of scarce judicial resources." NEM
Re Receivables. LLC v. Fortress Re. Inc., 187 F.Supp.3d
390, 395 (S.D.N.Y. 2016) (internal quotation marks omitted).
The primary grounds justifying reconsideration are "an
intervening change in controlling law, the availability of
new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent
manifest injustice." Kolel Beth Yechiel Mechil of
Tartikov. Inc. v. YLL Irrevocable Trust, 729 F.3d 99,
104 (2d Cir. 2013) (internal quotation marks omitted).
request for reconsideration under Local Rule 6.3 "must
point to controlling law or factual matters put before the
court in its decision on the underlying matter that the
movant believes the court overlooked and that might
reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the
court." Anwar v. Fairfield Greenwich Ltd., 164
F.Supp.3d 558, 560 (S.D.N.Y. 2016). Local Rule 6.3 must be
"narrowly construe[d] and strictly appl[ied]... so as to
avoid duplicative rulings on previously considered issues and
prevent [the rule] from being used to advance different
theories not previously argued or as a substitute for
appealing a final judgment." Id. at 561.
argues that the court erred in concluding that a rational
jury could infer, based on video and photograph evidence of
the scene as well as testimony by Defendant's employees,
that (1) the photographs depict the area as it appeared at
the time Plaintiff slipped; and (2) the paper towels depicted
therein were placed at the scene by Defendant's employees
before Plaintiffs fall, indicating those employees were
actually aware of the spill. (Def. Mem. at 2-3.) Defendant
states that the evidence "is NOT unclear as to
when photographs were taken" and that the court should
therefore grant its motion for summary judgment. (Reply in
Supp. of Def. Mot. (Dkt. 50) at 2.)
court declines Defendant's invitation to reconsider its
prior ruling on this issue. Defendant's contentions do
not establish that the court "overlooked" any
matters relevant to the motion for summary judgment. See
Local Civ. R. 6.3; see also Benjamin v. Goord, No.
02-CV-1703, 2010 WL 3341639, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Aug 18, 2010)
("A motion for reconsideration is ... appropriate only
when a court overlooks 'controlling decisions or factual
matters that were put before it on the underlying motion'
and which, if examined, might reasonably have led to a
different result." (quoting Eisemann v. Greene,
204 F.3d 393, 395 n.2 (2d Cir. 2000) (per curiam)). To the
contrary, the court already considered this specific issue in
the M&O. (See M&O at 14.)
addition, Defendant cannot demonstrate that a ruling in its
favor is necessary to "correct a clear error or prevent
manifest injustice." See Kolel Beth, 729 F.3d
at 104. Defendant claims that "the record conclusively
establishes that... photographs of the scene were taken
beginning at 11:56:31 am." (Def. Mem. at 2.) If this were
true, Defendant argues, it would mean that the
"photographs were taken after the paper towels had been
placed on the floor" and thus that Defendant did not
have actual notice of the hazard. (Id. at 4-5.) In
the M&O, the court stated that "[t]he video itself
is unclear, however, as to whether any photographs were taken
(and, if so, when) or whether there were also paper towels on
the floor prior to Plaintiffs fall." (M&O at 14
n.11.) Because of this lack of clarity, the court concluded
that a jury could find that Defendant had actual notice of
the hazard before Plaintiffs fall and therefore that there
was "a genuine issue regarding Defendant's actual
notice of the hazard." (Id at
14-16.) The court has again reviewed the video
evidence and stands by its interpretation thereof.
motion for reconsideration (Dkt. 45) is therefore DENIED.
 It is also worth noting that, in
Defendant's motion for summary judgment, Defendant's
characterization of this event was much less detailed than
what it now presents to the court. Instead, Defendant stated
simply: "There isn't any admissible evidence that a
Wal-Mart employee actually observed the liquid on the floor
prior to the incident. Nor is there evidence that anyone
reported or complained to Wal-Mart about the liquid being on
the floor." (July 28, 2017, Mem. in Supp. of Mot. for
Summ. J. (Dkt. 29) at 6.) Despite the lack of specificity in
support of Defendant's contention, the court carefully
scrutinized the video evidence of the incident and rejected
the argument that Defendant now presses.
 The court's conclusion on this
point was also supported by "Defendant's own store
policies [that] require employees to take a picture of the
scene of a potential injury claim prior to altering the
scene" and testimony by Defendant's employees
"that store staff use paper towels to address spills
like those that cause Plaintiffs injury." (M&O at 14
(alteration adopted) (internal quotation marks omitted).)
Given the existence of the policy and the fact that it had
been followed in the past, Plaintiffs claim that a rational
jury could find that the photographs were taken immediately
after her fall was not "blatantly contradicted by the
record, so that no reasonabl[e] jury could believe it."
(Id at 14 & n. 11 (quoting Scott v.
Harris,550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007).) Thus, while Defendant
may be correct that Defendant's employees' alleged
violation of these policies does not by itself "raise a
triable issue of fact" (see Def. Mem. at 4 n.2), the
court's conclusion that Plaintiff had presented