The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael P. McCUSKEY Chief U.S. District Judge
Wednesday, 07 September, 2011 03:50:19 PM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD
Plaintiff, Jodi Cambell, filed a Motion to Reconsider the Court Order Bifurcating Trial (#90) on July 29, 2011. Defendants Randy H. Gross and RAP Trucking, Inc., filed their Response (#103) on August 8, 2011. On August 15, 2011, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to File a Reply in Support of her Motion to Reconsider the Court Order Bifurcating Trial (#108). On August 17, 2011, Defendants filed a Response (#118) to the Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File a Reply. This Court has carefully considered all of the motions, the responses to the motions, and the documents filed by the parties. Following this careful and thorough review, this Court rules as follows: (1) Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File a Reply in Support of her Motion to Reconsider the Court Order Bifurcating Trial (#108) is GRANTED; and (2) Plaintiff's Motion to Reconsider the Court Order Bifurcating Trial (#90) is DENIED.
Defendants filed a Motion to Bifurcate Trial (#61), and Plaintiff filed a Memorandum in Opposition (#73). On July 18, 2011, this Court granted Defendant's Motion to Bifurcate Trail in a written opinion (#79). This Court based the decision to bifurcate the trial between a liability portion and a damages portion upon the following considerations: (1) judicial economy would be served if Defendants prevail on the liability issue, obviating the need for a damages trial; (2) the possible prejudice Defendants would suffer from extensive damages testimony detailing the injuries and costs to Plaintiff arising out of the accident; and (3) a determination that although some inconvenience might be suffered by the Plaintiff, it does not rise to the level of prejudice.
I. MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A REPLY
Rule 7.1(B)(3) of this Court's local rules provide: "[n]o reply to the response is permitted." Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to File a Reply (#108), which was opposed by the Defendants in a Response (#118) based on this Court's local Rule 7.1(B)(3). However, considering the unique circumstances of this case, this Court finds that a reply would be appropriate and therefore grants Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File a Reply in Support of her Motion to Reconsider the Court Order Bifurcating Trial (#108).
II. MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
The Seventh Circuit has explained that a motion for reconsideration can perform a valuable function where:
[T]he 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. A further basis for a motion to reconsider would be a controlling or significant change in the law or facts since the submission of the issue to the Court. Such problems rarely arise and the motion to reconsider should be equally rare.
Bank of Waunakee v. Rochester Cheese Sales, Inc., 906 F.2d 1185, 1191 (7th Cir. 1990) (citations omitted). The Seventh Circuit has also explained:
Motions for reconsideration serve a limited function; to correct manifest errors or law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence. Such motions cannot in any case be employed as a vehicle to introduce new evidence that could ...