The opinion of the court was delivered by: Alesia, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Currently before the court is plaintiff's motion for
reconsideration. For the following reasons, the court denies
plaintiff's motion for reconsideration.
Familiarity with the court's previous ruling — reported at
Spearman Indus., Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co.,
138 F. Supp.2d 1088 (N.D.Ill. 2001) — is assumed. The court will
review the facts only as necessary to establish a context for the
Plaintiff Spearman ("Spearman") has filed a two-count complaint
against defendant St. Paul ("St.Paul"). Count I seeks a
declaration that Spearman has insurance coverage for damage to
its entire roof. Count II seeks punitive damages for St. Paul's
alleged bad faith in denying Spearman's claim. On April 10, 2001,
the court denied Spearman's motion for summary judgment, denied
St. Paul's motion for summary judgment on Count I, and granted
St. Paul's motion for partial summary judgment on Count II.
Currently before the court is Spearman's motion for
reconsideration. In its motion, Spearman submits that the court
(1) denied its motion for summary judgment due to a mistaken
notion that there is no precedential support for its position
that the theory of proximate cause entitles it to summary
judgment and (2) erroneously granted St. Paul's motion for
partial summary judgment on Count II because "it is likely the
Court did not consider the evidence belying St. Paul's claim of a
good-faith dispute, evidence which was emphasized in the Reply."
(Pl.'s Mot. Recons. at 4.).
Spearman's motion for reconsideration consists entirely of
arguments it made earlier that this court already considered in
ruling on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment. These
arguments are not appropriate for a motion for reconsideration.
See Fyrnetics (Hong Kong) Ltd. v. Quantum Group, Inc., No. 99 C
4704, 2001 WL 40900, at *2 (N.D.Ill. Jan. 11, 2001). See also
Boyd v. Wexler, No. 00 C 2555, 2001 WL 219623, at *1 (N.D.Ill.
Mar. 6, 2001) (stating that "filing a motion to reconsider should
not be a `Pavlovian Response' to an adverse ruling."); Jefferson
v. Sec. Pac. Fin. Servs.,
Inc., 162 F.R.D. 123, 125 (N.D.Ill. 1995) (stating that a
motion to reconsider should not seek an "instant replay"); In re
Oil Spill by the "Amoco Cadiz," 794 F. Supp. 261, 267 (N.D.Ill.
1992) (stating that a motion to reconsider should not "rehash"
old arguments). Rather, "[m]otions for reconsideration serve a
limited function: to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to
present newly discovered evidence." Rothwell Cotton Co. v.
Rosenthal & Co., 827 F.2d 246, 251 (7th Cir. 1987) (quoted by
Fyrnetics (Hong Kong) Ltd., 2001 WL 40900, at *2).
Reconsideration is appropriate when "the Court has patently
misunderstood a party, or has made a decision outside the
adversarial issues presented to the Court by the parties, or has
made an error not of reasoning but of apprehension." Bank of
Waunakee v. Rochester Cheese Sales, Inc., 906 F.2d 1185, 1191
(7th Cir. 1990).
In this case, Spearman does not present new evidence or suggest
that there has been any change in the facts or applicable law
since this court's ruling. It does not suggest that this court
"patently misunderstood" it or "made a decision outside the
adversarial issues presented." Rather, Spearman's motion merely
reasserts the arguments and allegations it previously raised in
briefing the cross-motions for summary judgment and suggests
that, in deciding the parties' cross-motions for summary
judgment, this court inadvertently failed to consider these
Spearman posits two arguments in its motion for
reconsideration. First, regarding the court's denial of
Spearman's motion for summary judgment, Spearman contends that
the court overlooked controlling law. Second, regarding the
court's granting of St. Paul's motion for partial summary
judgment on Count II, Spearman contends that the court overlooked
certain evidence Spearman presented in its reply brief. Although
Spearman's arguments are inappropriate for a motion for
reconsideration, the court still will address each argument in
A. Court order denying Spearman's motion for summary judgment
Spearman moved for summary judgment on Count I of its
complaint, arguing that the theory of proximate cause entitled it
to judgment as a matter of law. On April 10, 2001, the court
rejected that argument and denied Spearman's motion on that
basis. In its motion for reconsideration, Spearman submits that
the court denied its motion for summary judgment due to a
mistaken notion that there is no precedential support in Illinois
law for Spearman's position regarding the importation of
proximate cause principles into the construction of an insurance
contract. Spearman then repeats its discussion of Mattis v.
State Farm, 118 Ill. App.3d 612, 73 Ill. Dec. 907,
454 N.E.2d 1156 (1983), to support its argument that the theory of proximate
cause applies in this case and entitles Spearman to summary
Also, in a motion to cite additional authority for its motion
for reconsideration, Spearman cites as support Crete-Monee Sch.
Dist. 201-U v. Indiana Ins. Co., No. 96 C 0275, 2000 WL 1222155
(N.D.Ill. Aug. 22, 2000), for its propositions that Mattis is
controlling law and that the theory of proximate cause applies in
this case and entitles it to relief. While the opinion of another
district judge in this circuit can be persuasive, it is not
binding precedent on this court. See Howard v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 160 F.3d 358, 359 (7th Cir. 1998) (holding that "a
district court's decision does not have precedential authority");
Malabarba v. Chicago Tribune Co., 149 F.3d 690, 697 (7th Cir.
1998) (accord); Old Republic Ins. Co. v. Chuhak & Tecson, P.C.,
84 F.3d 998, 1003 (7th Cir. 1996) (holding that "decisions by
district judges do not have the force of precedent.").
Further, while the facts in Crete-Monee are similar to the
facts in case at hand, this court finds its reasoning
unpersuasive. The court in Crete-Monee failed to cite as
support any Illinois law besides Mattis, failed to distinguish
or even mention Transamerica and its progeny, and relied
instead on several cases applying other state law, including
cases applying Wisconsin, West Virginia, and California state
law. Id. at *8-9. Further, Crete-Monee is distinguishable
from this case because in Crete-Monee, the parties agreed as to
the cause of damage to the roof, while in the case at hand there
is a genuine issue of material fact regarding the cause of damage
to the roof. Id. at *7.
Contrary to Spearman's argument, the court did consider
Mattis in denying Spearman's motion for summary judgment. As
Spearman points out, in 1983, the Illinois appellate court in
Mattis stated, "[w]here a policy expressly insures against loss
caused by one risk but excludes loss caused by another risk,
coverage is extended to a loss caused by the insured risk even
though the excluded risk is a contributory cause." Mattis, 73
Ill. Dec. 907, 454 N.E.2d at 1161. However, Mattis is not
controlling law. As this court stated in denying Spearman's
motion for summary judgment based on the theory of proximate
cause, the Seventh Circuit recently rejected such an argument and
stated that, in Illinois, the importation of tort principles of
proximate cause into the construction of insurance policies is
inappropriate. Spearman, 138 F. Supp.2d at 1093 (citing
Transamerica Ins. Co. ...