United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
May 10, 2005.
MITSUI SUMITOMO INSURANCE CO. LTD., a/s/o SHARP ELECTRONICS CORP., and SHARP ELECTRONICS CORP., Plaintiffs,
WATKINS MOTOR LINES, INC., Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge
This matter is before the court on Defendant Watkins Motor
Lines, Inc.'s ("Watkins") motion to alter or amend judgment. For
the reasons stated below, we deny Watkins' motion to alter or
The majority of facts in this action are not contested.
Defendant Watkins is engaged in business as a motor carrier.
Plaintiff, who hired Watkins to transport a shipment of
projectors, alleges that on April 30, 2001, Watkins received from
Sharp a shipment of twenty-three projectors with an invoice value
of $85,100. Watkins failed to deliver the projectors to the intended destination.
Watkins contends however, that it is not liable because Sharp did
not file a claim with Watkins in a timely fashion. Watkins also
claims that under the terms of the bill of lading and
incorporated tariff for the projectors, Watkins has only limited
liability for the loss. On October 7, 2004, we granted Plaintiff
Mitsui Summitomo Insurance Co., Ltd.'s ("Mitsui") motion for
summary judgment on the issue of Watkins' liability. Watkins
subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment seeking a
limitation of damages. On February 7, 2005, we denied Watkins'
motion for summary judgment seeking a limitation of damages.
Watkins now requests that the court reconsider its February 7,
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) ("Rule 59(e)") permits
parties to file, within ten days of the entry of a judgment, a
motion to alter or amend the judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e).
Rule 59(e) motions do not give a party the opportunity to rehash
old arguments or to present new arguments or evidence "that could
and should have been presented to the district court prior to the
judgment." Moro v. Shell Oil Co., 91 F.3d 872, 876 (7th Cir.
1996) (citing LB Credit Corp. v. Resolution Trust Corp.,
49 F.3d 1263, 1267 (7th Cir. 1995)). Rather, for a Rule 59(e)
motion, the movant "must clearly establish either a manifest
error of law or fact or must present newly discovered evidence"
in order to be successful. LB Credit Corp., 49 F.3d at 1267 (quoting Federal Deposit Ins. Corp. v. Meyer,
781 F.2d 1260, 1268 (7th Cir. 1986)). The decision of whether to grant or
deny a motion brought pursuant to Rule 59(e) "is entrusted to the
sound judgment of the district court. . . ." In re Prince,
85 F.3d 314, 324 (7th Cir. 1996).
Watkins does not include in his motion to alter or amend
judgment any new evidence, new arguments, or indicate that the
court has committed a manifest error. Watkins presents for
example, the same arguments pertaining to the history of the
Carmack Amendment which the court fully considered when making
its prior decision. Watkins also contends that the court, in its
prior ruling, drew a distinction between filed and unfiled
tariffs and thus enforces language in the pertinent bill of
lading that is now "meaningless and anachronistic. . . ." (Mot.
3). This court did not "draw? an artificial distinction between
filed and unfiled tariffs" as Watkins suggests. (Mot. 3). Rather,
the court ruled based upon the express language included in the
agreement that Watkins entered into with Mitsui, which made
specific reference to "lawfully filed tariffs." (BL) (emphasis
added). Our prior ruling does nothing more than require Watkins
to honor the terms of the agreement that Watkins entered into
Watkins also attempts, in its motion to alter or amend
judgment, to reintroduce its arguments pertaining to Tempel
Steel Corp. v. Landstar Inway, Inc., 211 F.3d 1029 (7th Cir. 2000). As we indicated in our
February 7, 2005, ruling, Watkins cited to Tempel in support of
its summary judgment motion seeking a limitation on damages. (W
SJ Limit Mot. Reply 4). We concluded in our February 7, 2005,
ruling that Tempel was distinguishable in regards to Watkins'
position. Watkins argues that the court, in referring to Tempel
in the February 7, 2005 ruling, drew a distinction between "filed
tariffs" and "unfiled tariffs." However, we made no such
substantive distinction in regards to the meaning given under the
law to the phrases "filed tariffs" and "unfiled tariffs." Rather,
as we explained in our ruling, we compared the language of the
bill of lading to the bill of lading at issue in the instant
action and found the two bills of lading to have material
differences. Therefore, we deny Watkins' motion to alter or amend
Based on the foregoing analysis, we deny Watkins' motion to
alter or amend judgment.
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