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BLAND v. FIATALLIS NORTH AMERICA

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois


June 16, 2004.

BLAND
v.
FIATALLIS NORTH AMERICA.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES ZAGEL, District Judge

Plaintiffs have moved to alter or amend, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), my February 26, 2004 Memorandum Opinion and Order granting Defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings as to the first claim in the Amended Complaint. I may grant the motion if they (1) present newly-discovered evidence, or (2) point to evidence in the record that clearly establishes a manifest error of fact or law. Russell v. Delco Remy Div. of General Motors Corp., 51 F.3d 746, 749 (7th Cir. 1995). Here, Plaintiffs do neither.

As for any newly-discovered evidence, Plaintiffs contend that their motion should be granted on the basis of "two new facts": (1) that Fiatallis has given "false or misleading" answers to interrogatories that justify Rule 37(c)(1) sanctions; and (2) that Defendants have violated some Wisconsin state court orders. Aside from their failure to actually describe these purported new facts so that I can understand what Plaintiffs are talking about, they have entirely failed to demonstrate how these "facts," even if true, have any relevance to my decision.

Plaintiffs also claim that I made manifest errors when I construed the 1977 and 1978 salaried plan descriptions ("SPDs") as stand-alone documents that apply to two distinct groups of retirees. However, Plaintiffs offer no evidence that supports their assertion that these SPDs apply to the same group of retired salaried employees. They have pointed out no incorporation by reference language in either plan and nothing in the 1978 plan stating that those who retired under the 1978 plan were subject to the 1977 plan on the subject of retiree health benefits. Plaintiffs have not even pointed out any reference in the 1978 plan to the 1977 plan. Most importantly, however, Plaintiffs have failed to explain how reading the SPDs together has any effect on the determination as to whether vesting has occurred. Simply put, I do not see how I committed manifest error in my determination of this issue and how it has any effect on my decision.

  Finally, Plaintiffs claim that I made manifest errors in interpreting governing ERISA law. However, they have failed to point to any evidence that clearly establishes that I have committed error in my interpretation of law or my application of law to the facts in this case.

  For the reasons above, Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter or Amend Per Rule 50(e) is DENIED.

20040616

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