United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
February 11, 2016, the Court issued an order granting in part
and denying in part Wal-Mart’s Motion for Summary
Judgment and denying Wal-Mart’s Motion to Sever (the
"Order"). ECF No. 255. Plaintiffs and Wal-Mart move
for reconsideration of the Order under D. Conn. L. Civ. R.
7(c). For the reasons that follow,
Wal-Mart’s motion is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART
and Plaintiffs’ motion is DENIED.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
standard for reviewing a motion for reconsideration is
"strict." Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70
F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995). "[R]econsideration will
generally be denied unless the moving party can point to
controlling decisions or data that the court overlooked-
matters, in other words, that might reasonably be expected to
alter the conclusion reached by the court." Id.
"In order to prevent ‘wasteful repetition of
arguments already briefed, considered and decided, ’ a
motion for reconsideration is granted only in a narrow range
of circumstances." Martin v. Dupont Flooring Sys.,
Inc., No. Civ. A. 3:01-cv-02189 (SRU), 2004 WL 1171208,
at *1 (D. Conn. May 25, 2004) (quoting Schonberger v.
Serchuk, 742 F.Supp. 108, 119 (S.D.N.Y. 1990)). The
major grounds justifying reconsideration are: "(1) an
intervening change in the law; (2) the availability of new
evidence not previously available; or (3) the need to correct
a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice."
Id. (citing Doe v. New York City Dep’t of
Soc. Servs., 709 F.2d 782, 789 (2d Cir. 1983)).
Wal-Mart’s Motion for Reconsideration (ECF No.
Wal-Mart argues that the Court overlooked its legitimate,
non-discriminatory reason for not rehiring Plaintiffs.
Wal-Mart quotes in bold letters an excerpt from page thirteen
of its reply brief that, it claims, "the Court failed to
acknowledge": "amongst the dozens of internal and
external applicants for those positions, the [sic]
recruiters and managers involved with the selection process
found other candidates to be more qualified."
Defs.’ Mem. Supp. Mot. Reconsider. at 3.
Court did not "fail to acknowledge" this
explanation, it quoted it. Order at 22 ("In its reply
memorandum, Wal-Mart asserted that ‘the recruiters and
managers involved with the selection process found other
candidates to be more qualified, ’ but does not cite
evidence showing that recruiters and managers determined that
the successful candidates were more qualified than Plaintiffs
for the relevant positions. See Reply at 13.").
The Court then explained that it reviewed all of the evidence
to which Wal-Mart’s memorandum and reply cited in
connection with this proffered explanation, and none of that
evidence showed that Wal-Mart chose the successful candidates
over Plaintiffs because of qualifications. Id. at
Wal-Mart did not assert that it "found other candidates
to be more qualified" until its reply memorandum, to
which Plaintiffs had no opportunity to respond. Defs.’
Reply at 13, ECF No. 238. Wal-Mart’s memorandum in
support of its motion for summary judgment, to which
Plaintiffs did have an opportunity to respond, stated its
"reason" as follows: "Plaintiffs competed
against hundreds of internal and external candidates for the
positions they sought[, ]" saying nothing about
qualifications. Defs.’ Mem. at 29, ECF No. 206. See
Meiri v. Dacon, 759 F.2d 989, 997 (2d Cir. 1985) (noting
that Title VII plaintiffs seeking to demonstrate pretext are
"unfairly handicapped" when employers offer vague
or conclusory reasons).
its motion for reconsideration, Wal-Mart makes a second
attempt to articulate its legitimate, nondiscriminatory
reason. See Defs.’ Mem. Supp. Mot. Reconsider.
at 4-5. Reconsideration is denied on this basis.
Shrader, 70 F.3d at 257 (motion for reconsideration
is not a vehicle "to relitigate an issue already
decided"); Analytical Surveys, Inc. v. Tonga
Partners, L.P., 684 F.3d 36, 52 (2d Cir. 2012) (motion
for reconsideration is not a vehicle for taking a
"second bite at the apple") (internal quotation
Wal-Mart argues that Plaintiffs’ protected activity was
too remote from Wal-Mart’s decisions not to rehire
them, and therefore there is no prima facie
inference of causal connection. The Court agrees with respect
to Irving, and with respect to some of the failures to rehire
Hannah and Barham, and therefore grants reconsideration in
noted in the Order, Irving applied to four MHRM positions
after learning he would be displaced, and Wal-Mart filled
only three of those positions. Order at 9. Those three
positions were filled approximately 17, 20, and 22 months,
respectively, after Irving’s CHRO complaint.
See Ex. 22 to Motion to Sever at WLMT 003011, ECF
No. 181-2. In deciding Wal-Mart’s Motion for Summary
Judgment, the Court did not reference relevant documents
(WLMT003011, WLMT003333) which Wal-Mart submitted as exhibits
to its Motion to Sever but not its Motion for Summary
Judgment. Compare ECF No. 181-2 and ECF No. 207-6.
Wal-Mart, however, cited these documents in paragraphs of its
Local Rule 56(a)1 Statement concerning the filling of
positions to which Plaintiffs applied. See
Defs.’ L.R. 56(a)1 Stmt. ¶¶ 99, 102.
the temporal remoteness of Irving’s protected activity
and Wal-Mart’s decisions not to rehire him, no prima
facie inference of causal connection arises. See,
e.g., Manessis v. N.Y.C. Dep’t of
Transp., No. 02 Civ. 359 (SAS), 2003 WL 289969, at *14
(S.D.N.Y. Feb. 10, 2003) (seventeen-month lapse was too
remote to support a ...