United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
LIOI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on motion of plaintiffs B&S
Transport, Inc. (“B&S”) and Ronnie Harris
“plaintiffs”) for reconsideration of the
Court's memorandum opinion (Doc. No. 138
[“MO”]) denying plaintiffs' motion for
partial summary judgment, and granting the motion for summary
judgment of defendants Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations,
LLC (“BATO”) and Bridgestone Americas, Inc.
(“BA”) (collectively, “defendants”).
(Doc. No. 140 [“Mot.”].) Defendants opposed the
motion for reconsideration (Doc. No. 141
[“Opp'n”]),  and plaintiffs filed a reply
(Doc. No. 142 [“Reply”]).
factual background of this case is detailed in the
Court's memorandum opinion from which plaintiffs seek
reconsideration. (See MO at 5866-69.) Briefly,
Harris, who is African-American, founded B&S, which is
owned by Harris and his wife. In 1991, B&S became an
authorized dealer of Bridgestone tires; the federal
government is its primary customer. Defendants notified
plaintiffs in February 2013 that they were terminating
B&S's dealership agreement effective December 31,
2013. Plaintiffs contend that defendants terminated the
dealership because of race, and brought a complaint asserting
one federal claim of race discrimination pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1981, as well as state law claims.
parties filed cross motions for summary judgment.
Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment was
denied and defendants' motion for summary judgment was
granted. In so ruling, the Court found that plaintiffs failed
to establish that there was a genuine dispute of material
fact with respect to the fourth element of a prima facie case
of race discrimination under the McDonnell
Douglas/Burdine burden-shifting framework. (MO at 5882.)
the Court's finding regarding the fourth element, the
Court assumed, for the purpose of analysis, that plaintiffs
were able to establish a prima facie case, and proceeded to
consider defendants' non-discriminatory reason for
terminating plaintiffs' dealership agreement and, then,
whether that reason is a pretext for race discrimination.
(See MO at 5882-83.) The Court found that plaintiffs
advanced no evidence from which a reasonable jury could
conclude that defendants' stated reason for terminating
plaintiffs' tire dealership was a pretext for race
discrimination. (MO at 5889.)
their motion, plaintiffs claim that the Court erred in
concluding that: (1) plaintiffs did not establish the fourth
element of a prima facie case of race discrimination; and (2)
there was insufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury
could conclude that defendants' stated reason for
terminating plaintiffs' dealership was a pretext for race
Standard of Review
plaintiffs note at the outset, the federal rules of civil
procedure do not provide for motions for reconsideration.
Such motions are typically treated as a motion to alter or
amend the judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). McDowell v.
Dynamics Corp. of America, 931 F.2d 380, 382 (6th Cir.
1991) (citing Smith v. Hudson, 600 F.2d 60, 62 (6th
Cir. 1979)). The purpose of Rule 59(e), however, is not to
provide an unhappy litigant with an opportunity to relitigate
issues already considered and rejected by the Court.
Morgantown Mach. & Hydraulics of Ohio, Inc. v. Am.
Piping Prod., Inc., No. 5:15-CV-1310, 2016 WL 3555431,
at *3 (N.D. Ohio June 30, 2016) (citation omitted). In other
words, a motion for reconsideration is not a substitute for
appeal. See CitiMortgage, Inc. v. Nyamusevya, No.
2:13-CV-00680, 2015 WL 1000444, at *4 (S.D. Ohio Mar. 5,
2015) (citing Gore v. AT & T Corp., No.
2:09-CV-854, 2010 WL 3655994, *1 (S.D. Ohio Sept. 14, 2010)
(“Motions for reconsideration should not be used as a
substitute for appeal nor should they be used as a vehicle
for mere disagreement with a district court's
opinion.”)). Neither is a Rule 59(e) motion properly
used to advance a new legal theory or evidence to support a
prior argument when either or both, with due diligence, could
have been discovered and offered during the initial
consideration of the issue. McConocha v. Blue Cross and
Blue Shield Mut. of Ohio, 930 F.Supp. 1182, 1184 (N.D.
Ohio 1996) (citation omitted).
only three situations justify a district court in altering or
amending its judgment: (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. Rodriguez v.
Tenn. Laborers Health & Welfare Fund, 89 F.
App'x 949, 959 (6th Cir. 2004) (citing Reich v. Hall
Holding Co., 990 F.Supp. 955, 965 (N.D. Ohio 1998));
see also Huff v. FirstEnergy Corp., No. 5:12CV2583,
2014 WL 2441768, at *2 (N.D. Ohio May 29, 2014) (The party
seeking to alter or amend judgment under Rule 59(e)
“‘must either clearly establish a manifest error
of law or must present newly discovered
evidence.'”) (quoting Roger Miller Music, Inc.
v. Sony/ATV Publ'g, LLC, 477 F.3d 383, 395 (6th Cir.
do not contend that there has been an intervening change in
law or new evidence. Rather, plaintiffs argue that the Court
committed an error of law. An error occurs where the Court
exhibits a “wholesale disregard, misapplication, or
failure to recognize controlling precedent.”
Huff, 2014 WL 2441768, at *2 (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted); Jackson v. Ford Motor
Co., No. 15-1180, 2016 WL 4533028, at *1 (W.D. Tenn.
Mar. 21, 2016) (“A ‘clear error of law'
occurs where the original ruling overlooked or disregarded
some argument or controlling authority or where the moving
party successfully points out a manifest error[.]”)
(some internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting United
States v. Ladeau, No. 3:10-CR-00242-1, 2012 WL 5838125,
at *2 (M.D. Tenn. Nov. 15, 2012) (further citation omitted)).