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Trustees of Construction Industry and Laborers Health and Welfare Trust v. Archie

United States District Court, D. Nevada

April 25, 2014

TRUSTEES OF THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY AND LABORERS HEALTH AND WELFARE TRUST, et al., Plaintiff(s),
v.
SHERYL ARCHIE, et al., Defendant(s)

ORDER

JAMES C. MAHAN, District Judge.

Presently before the court is defendants' motion for reconsideration. (Doc. # 82). Plaintiffs have responded (doc. # 84) and defendants have replied (doc. # 85).

I. Background

Defendants were formerly officers, managers, and/or directors of a cleaning company, Floppy Mop Inc. Plaintiffs collect, or covered employers are required to remit, employee benefit trust funds that provide pension, health and welfare, vacation, and training benefits to certain covered employees.

In a prior lawsuit in this district, Trustees of the Construction Industry and Laborers Health and Welfare Trust et al v. Floppy Mop Inc., case number 2:10-cv-01603-KJD-GWF, plaintiffs obtained a judgment against Floppy Mop in the amount of $535, 158, based on its failure to make required contributions.

Plaintiffs then brought the instant suit against defendants individually in order to collect on Floppy Mop's unpaid contributions. On March 3, 2014, this court granted plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, finding that the defendants were fiduciaries as defined by ERISA, and could be held personally liable for the judgment obtained against Floppy Mop by virtue of their ownership and control over the remittance payments. (Doc. # 78).

Defendants bring the instant motion asking the court to reconsider that ruling.

II. Legal Standard

A motion for reconsideration "should not be granted, absent highly unusual circumstances." Kona Enters., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000). Reconsideration "is appropriate if the district court (1) is presented with newly discovered evidence, (2) committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust, or (3) if there is an intervening change in controlling law." School Dist. No. 1J v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993).

Rule 59(e) "permits a district court to reconsider and amend a previous order, " however "the rule offers an extraordinary remedy, to be used sparingly in the interests of finality and conservation of judicial resources." Carroll v. Nakatani, 342 F.3d 934, 945 (9th Cir. 2003) (internal quotations omitted).

III. Discussion

Defendants argue for the first time in their reply in support of their motion for reconsideration that the award of attorneys fees and liquidated damages was improper. The court rejects this new argument as it was not raised in the motion to reconsider. See, e.g., Eberle v. City of Anaheim, 901 F.2d 814, 817-18 (9th Cir. 1990) (noting new issues cannot be raised in a reply); United States v. Bohn, 956 F.2d 208 (9th Cir. 1992) (same); see also Carroll, 342 F.3d at 945 ("A Rule 59(e) motion may not be used to raise arguments or present evidence for the first time when they could reasonably have been raised in the earlier litigation."). To the extent defendants seek reconsideration of the award of attorneys fees and liquidated damages, their request is denied.

Defendants then argue, once again, that the judgment obtained against Floppy Mop in Trustees of the Construction Industry and Laborers Health and Welfare Trust et al v. Floppy Mop Inc., case number 2:10-cv-01603-KJD-GWF, was invalid. The court has repeatedly instructed the defendants that the only issue before the court in this lawsuit is whether they can be held personally liable for that judgment. The court has also repeatedly instructed defendants that this lawsuit is not the proper avenue in which to attack the judgment previously obtained against Floppy Mop. Undeterred, defendants rehash the same arguments in their motion to reconsider.

These arguments are not new, do not rest on newly discovered evidence, do not demonstrate the court committed clear error, and do not rely on an intervening change in controlling law. Thus, there are no grounds upon which the court may reconsider and amend its prior order.[1]

Accordingly,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that defendants' motion for reconsideration (doc. # 82) be, and the same hereby is, DENIED.


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