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Christmass v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

February 7, 2018

DEMOND CHRISTMAS, Plaintiff,
v.
WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., JOHN TROST, ERIC JOHNSON, CHRISTINE LOCHHEAD, and GAIL WALLS Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE U.S. District Judge

         This matter is now before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration. (Doc. 17). Plaintiff originally filed this action on September 20, 2017. (Doc. 1). The Court screened the Complaint on November 27, 2017, dismissing some claims and allowing others to proceed. (Doc. 8). Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Reconsideration as to rulings in the Court's Threshold Order. (Doc. 17). For the reasons explained below, the Motion is DENIED.

         Plaintiff first raises the Court's disposition of his claim against Wexford based on respondeat superior. He states that if “Monell is overturned during the pending litigation of the case sub judice, Plaintiff will move to reinstate said claim against Wexford, alternatively Plaintiff's objection preserves the issue for appeal.” (Doc. 17, p. 3).

         Next, Plaintiff contends that the Court abused its discretion by dismissing Dr. Shearing from Counts 2 and 4 on statute of limitations grounds. Id. Specifically, Plaintiff argues that the defense was not apparent on the face of the Complaint; that the Court disregarded the law on construing pro se complaints Id.; that the date Dr. Shearing left his employment is irrelevant to the statute of limitations determination (Doc. 17, p. 4); and that the Court should have considered the discovery rule in analyzing the statute of limitations question (Doc. 17, p. 5). Plaintiff also maintains that the Court improperly considered the issue of exhaustion when determining whether the statute of limitations should be tolled. (Doc. 17, pp. 6-7).

         Plaintiff's third ground for reconsideration is that the Court should not have dismissed Dr. Sutterer because he clearly delayed providing Plaintiff with adequate care. (Doc. 17, p. 7).

         Plaintiff also takes issue with the Court's dismissal of his retaliation claim. (Doc. 17, p. 8). He first argues that it was improper for the Court to dismiss Wexford because Wexford had a policy, practice, or custom of turning a blind eye to retaliatory action of others. Id. He also asserts that Dr. Shearing should not have been dismissed on statute of limitations grounds for the same reasons discussed above. Id. Finally, as to Defendant Walls' dismissal, Plaintiff states that he will file an amended complaint. Id.

         Discussion

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) provides:

any order . . . which adjudicates fewer than all of the claims . . . shall not terminate the action as to any of the claims . . . and the order . . . is subject to revision at any time before the entry of judgment. . . .

         Under this rule, a court may reconsider its own orders that dispose of less than the entire case prior to final judgment. Moses H. Cone Mem. Hosp. v. Mercury Const. Corp, 460 U.S. 1 (1983). The Court may, sua sponte or on motion, correct clear errors of fact or law in an interlocutory order. Diaz v. Indian Head Inc., 686 F.2d 558, 562-63 (7th Cir. 1982).

         The purpose of a motion to reconsider is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence. Caisse Nationale de Credit Agricole v. CBI Indus. Inc., 90 F.3d 1264, 1269 (7th Cir. 1996). Reconsideration is also appropriate where “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) (citing Above the Belt, Inc. v. Mel Bohannan Roofing, Inc., 99 F.R.D. 99, 101 (E.D.Va.1983)). “A manifest error is not demonstrated by the disappointment of the losing party, instead it is the wholesale disregard, misapplication, or failure to recognize controlling precedent.” Oto v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 224 F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir. 2000).

         As an initial matter, Plaintiff's stated intention to move to reinstate his respondeat superior claims against Wexford, should the law in the Seventh Circuit change, requires no analysis or action from this Court and will not be addressed further. Plaintiff has also refers to other motions that he intends to file, but future motions also require no action from the Court at present.

         Dismissal of Dr. Shearing

         With regard to Plaintiff's argument that Dr. Shearing should not have been dismissed from Counts 2 and 4 on statute of limitations grounds because the defense is not apparent on the face of the Complaint, the Court's decision to dismiss Dr. Shearing rested in a large part on Plaintiff's allegation in the Complaint that Dr. Shearing was no longer working at Menard as of October 5, 2014. Plaintiff argues that the Court did not liberally construe the pro-se filing in his favor when it relied on this statement. But this allegation is unambiguous and not subject to more than one interpretation. Moreover, Plaintiff does not argue that Shearing actually worked at Menard past that date. While Plaintiff is correct that pro-se complaints must be liberally construed with all facts taken in the light most favorable to the ...


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