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.

Vanguard Transportation Systems, Inc. v. Volvo Trucks North America

October 30, 2006

VANGUARD TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
VOLVO TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Graham

OPINION AND ORDER

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Vanguard Transportation Systems, Inc.'s ("Vanguard") Motion for Reconsideration/New Trial (Doc. 70) filed with this Court on August 24, 2006.*fn1 Defendant Volvo Trucks North America, Inc. ("VTNA") filed a Response opposing Vanguard's Motion and requesting that this Court order Vanguard to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed against it for the use of an improper motion (Doc. 71). Vanguard did not file a reply to VTNA's Response.

Vanguard asks this Court to reconsider its decision of August 14, 2006, granting summary judgment in VTNA's favor (Doc. 68), and, judgment in VTNA's favor in this case (Doc. 69) entered by the Clerk on August 14, 2006, or to grant Vanguard a "new trial pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59." (Pl.'s Mot. for Recons./New Trial 1.) Vanguard's Complaint alleged claims for VTNA's alleged breach of express warranty or, in the alternative, breach of contract, arising out of defects in VTNA-manufactured or assembled commercial trucks purchased by Vanguard. This Court found that Vanguard had not presented any evidence of a breach of warranty or breach of contract. The Court next found that a written, limited warranty provided by VTNA with the sale of the trucks excluded all other prior or contemporaneous oral or written warranties. Finally, the Court found that VTNA's limited, written warranty did not fail of its essential purpose as Vanguard claimed.

In its Motion, Vanguard argues the following: 1) the Court's judgment is contrary to law; 2) the judgment is not sustained by sufficient evidence; 3) the judgment is contrary to the evidence; 4) the evidence on which the Court relied in reaching its conclusion was insufficient; 5) the Court erred in finding no genuine issues of material fact; 6) the Court erred in finding that Douglas Menne's Affidavit ("Menne Affidavit") was not properly signed; 7) the Court erred in finding that the Menne Affidavit consisted largely of hearsay or broad conclusions; 8) the Court erred in determining that the letters attached to Vanguard's Response in Opposition to VTNA's Motion for Summary Judgment ("Menne Letters") were inadmissible for purposes of the Motion; 9) the Court erred in finding that VTNA's responsibilities to Vanguard were limited to those set forth in the written "Limited Warranty"; and, 10) the Court erred in finding that the burden of proof was shifted to Vanguard and in finding that Vanguard had not met that burden, "ignoring that in Summary Judgment proceedings, the issues raised by the moving party must be taken in the light most favorable to the non-moving party." (Pl.'s Mot. for Recons./New Trial 1-2.)

For the following reasons, the Court DENIES Vanguard's Motion.

I. Standard of Review

A motion for a new trial upon a court's grant of summary judgment is "technically improper." Harris v. Refiners Transp. & Terminal Corp., No. C 84-7578, 1986 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20885, *3 (N.D. Ohio Sept. 5, 1986). However, it is generally accepted that a district court may review a summary judgment ruling and provide relief under Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e). Id. Similarly, the Federal Rules do not provide for a "motion to reconsider," again, however, if a motion to reconsider an entry of judgment is filed within ten days of the judgment, most courts will treat the motion as a motion to amend or alter the judgment under Rule 59(e).*fn2 It is apparent that Vanguard seeks an Order amending or altering the Court's grant of summary judgment to VTNA, not a "new trial," as there was no trial in this case. Vanguard filed its Motion within ten days of the entry of judgment for VTNA. The Court will therefore consider Vanguard's Motion as a motion to alter or amend judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e).

Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits parties to move for a court to alter or amend a previously issued judgment. Fed. R. Civ. P. 59.*fn3 As this Court has stated, "[g]enerally there are three situations which justify reconsideration under Rule 59(e): '1) to accommodate an intervening change in controlling law; 2) to account for new evidence not available at trial; or 3) to correct a clear error of law or to prevent a manifest injustice.'" J.P. v. Taft, No. C2-04-692, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14595, *13 (S.D. Ohio Mar. 15, 2006) (quoting Dualite Sales & Serv., Inc. v. Moran Foods, Inc., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43588, at *1 (S.D. Ohio Sept. 26, 2005)(internal citations omitted)).

That said, motions under Rule 59(e) may not "'be used to relitgate old matters, or to raise arguments or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment.'" Id. (quoting Brown v. City of Syracuse, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43587, at *1-2 (N.D.N.Y. Aug. 17, 2005) (internal citations omitted)). Finally, "[a] motion to alter or reconsider a judgment is an extraordinary remedy and should be granted sparingly because of the interest in finality and conservation of scarce judicial resources." United States v. Limited, Inc., 179 F.R.D. 541, 547 (S.D. Ohio 1988) (citing Sussman v. Salem, Saxon & Nielsen, P.A., 153 F.R.D. 689, 694 (D.C. Fla. 1994), Pennsylvania Ins. Guar. Ass'n v. Trabosh, 812 F.Supp. 522, 524 (D.C. Pa. 1992)). "If the movant simply regurgitates arguments previously presented or presents arguments which originally could have been argued, then the movant's proper recourse is an appeal to the circuit court." Id. at 547 n.9 (citing Dana Corp. v. United States, 764 F. Supp. 482, 489 (N.D. Ohio 1991)).

II. Discussion and Analysis

Vanguard does not assert that this Court's judgment should be set aside to accommodate a change in the controlling law. Vanguard makes several arguments regarding the evidence presented by the parties during the briefing on VTNA's Motion for Summary Judgment. Vanguard also appears to argue that the Court should alter or amend the judgment to correct clear error, though it does not specify what was clearly erroneous about this Court's grant of summary judgment in VTNA's favor.

A. Vanguard's Arguments Regarding the Application of the Summary Judgment Standard

Vanguard makes several arguments that relate to the standard under which courts must view any evidence presented at the summary judgment stage. For example, Vanguard argues that the evidence upon which the Court relied in granting VTNA's Motion for Summary Judgment was "insufficient"; that the Court erred in finding there was no genuine issue in dispute as to any material facts; and that the Court erred in finding that the burden of proof was shifted to Plaintiff and in finding that Plaintiff had not met that burden, ignoring that in summary judgment proceedings the issues raised by the moving party must be taken in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. In Vanguard's Brief in Support of its Motion, it refers the Court to several cases setting forth the standard of review on a motion for summary judgment.

In its Opinion and Order granting summary judgment in VTNA's favor, the Court specifically set forth the applicable standards governing its decision. (Op. and Order 3-5.) The Court applied these standards in granting VTNA's Motion. As stated, supra, if Vanguard believes that this Court improperly applied the summary judgment standard, or improperly considered any evidence in light of that standard, its recourse is to appeal this Court's decision, not to restate arguments upon which this Court has already decided. (See Pl.'s Br. in Opp. to Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J. 15-16 outlining the standard of review on a motion for summary judgment and specifically acknowledging that once the movant demonstrates an absence ...


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.