United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION TO CORRECT RULING ON
ATTORNEY'S FEES, COSTS, AND EXPENSES TO BE AWARDED TO
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
of Southbury Training School, an institution for the mentally
disabled in Connecticut, brought this class-action case
against Southbury Training School, the Director of Southbury
Training School, and the Commissioner of the Connecticut
Department of Developmental Services (collectively
“Defendants”), seeking injunctive relief for
alleged constitutional and statutory violations relating to
the conditions, services, and programs at Southbury Training
School, the appropriateness of individual placements in a
more integrated setting (“community placement”),
and the right to be free of discrimination with respect to
having such placements made.
the attorneys for Plaintiffs, David C. Shaw, has moved for
the Court to correct certain alleged errors in its March 27,
2015 Ruling on the amount of attorney's fees, costs, and
expenses that Plaintiffs' counsel is to be awarded. ECF
following reasons, the motion is DENIED.
Court assumes familiarity with the factual background of the
case and provides the procedural background that is necessary
to decide this motion.
1994, Plaintiffs sued Defendants. ECF No. 1. After a
bench-trial that lasted 123 days, in 1999, the Court ruled
that Defendants had deprived class members of their
procedural due process and statutory rights to professional
judgment regarding the appropriateness of community
placements, as well as their statutory right to be free of
discrimination with respect to such placements. See
Messier v. Southbury Training Sch., 562 F.Supp.2d 294
(D. Conn. 2008). Plaintiffs did not prevail on their
remaining three claims. Id. at 303-04. Based on the
Court's finding of liability on Plaintiffs' community
placement claim, the parties reached a settlement on the
issue of remedies. ECF No. 1054. Plaintiffs' motion for
attorneys' fees and costs followed.ECF No. 1067. The
petition, as supplemented through October 2014, sought a
total award of $7, 676, 839.09.
Court ruled on Plaintiffs' motion in two parts. The first
ruling addressed Plaintiffs' “degree of
success” on the merits. With respect to the claim on
which they prevailed-i.e., the community placement
claim-Plaintiff's achieved “excellent results,
” but, because those claims were both factually and
legally distinct from Plaintiffs' unsuccessful
claims-i.e., the medical care, protection, and
rehabilitation claims-the Court determined that the lodestar
calculation must be limited to the time Plaintiffs'
counsel expended solely on the claim on which Plaintiffs
prevailed. ECF No. 1146. The second ruling addressed what
award of attorneys' fees, costs, and expenses was
reasonable in light of Plaintiffs' limited success in
this case. Having considered a number of factors, including
time reasonably expended on successful claims, excessive,
redundant or unnecessary time and expenses, excessiveness in
rates sought, and loss in the time-value-of-money that an
award of interest would cover, the Court awarded Plaintiffs
an aggregate award of $2, 724, 763.28. ECF No. 1201.
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
(“PILCO”) and Mr. Shaw separately moved for the
Court to correct what they alleged were errors in the
Court's ruling awarding Plaintiffs attorneys' fees,
costs, and expenses. ECF Nos. 1203, 1205. PILCO subsequently
settled its portion of the fees award. See ECF No.
Court heard oral argument on July 3, 2018, at which the Court
granted leave for the parties to file post-hearing
submissions. ECF No. 1301. The parties submitted additional
filings on July 20, 2018, ECF No. 1306, and on August 3,
2018, ECF. No. 1309, respectively.
Court now addresses Mr. Shaw's motion.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
standard for granting [a motion for reconsideration] is
strict, and reconsideration 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.” Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d
255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995). “The major grounds justifying
reconsideration are an intervening change of controlling law,
the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a
clear error or prevent manifest injustice.” Virgin
Atlantic Airways, Ltd. v. Nat'l Mediation Bd., 956
F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir. 1992) (internal citations omitted).
A motion for reconsideration generally does not allow the
moving party to revisit arguments that have already been
presented before the court. See Shrader, 70 F.3d at
257 (“a motion for reconsideration should not be
granted where the moving party seeks solely to relitigate an
issue already decided.”).