American Hotel International Groupv.Onebeacon Ins. Co.

United States District Court, S.D. New YorkMay 17, 2005
01 Civ. 0654 (RCC) (S.D.N.Y. May. 17, 2005)

01 Civ. 0654 (RCC).

May 17, 2005


RICHARD CASEY, District Judge

Plaintiffs have filed an untimely motion for reconsideration of this Court's March 26, 2004 Memorandum and Order, granting in part and denying in part Defendants' motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration is denied.

At the time the motion was decided, Defendant OneBeacon Insurance Company was known as CGU Insurance Company. Plaintiffs entered into many of their agreements with General Accident, CGU's predecessor. In this memorandum the Court refers to all of these corporations and any predecessors as "Defendants."

I. Background

The Court presumes familiarity with the circumstances giving rise to this action and the present motion. Essentially, the dispute stems from a series of agreements between Plaintiffs and Defendants through which Plaintiffs acted as an insurance broker placing possible business with Defendants. Plaintiffs brought this suit alleging breach of contract after Defendants terminated those agreements. Defendants counterclaimed for the return of commissions it had paid to Plaintiffs for premiums that had since been refunded.

II. Discussion

A. Standard

A motion for reconsideration is appropriate where a court overlooks "controlling decisions or factual matters that were put before it on the underlying motion . . . and which, had they been considered, might have reasonably altered the result before the court."Range Road Music, Inc. v. Music Sales Corp., 90 F. Supp. 2d 390, 392 (S.D.N.Y. 2000); see also Shrader v. CSX Transp. Inc., 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995) ("The standard for granting a motion [for reconsideration] is strict, and . . . will generally be denied unless the moving party can point to controlling decisions or data that the court overlooked. . . ."). "On such a motion, a party may not advance new facts, issues, or arguments not previously presented to the Court." Polsby v. St. Martin's Press, No. 97 Civ. 690 (MBM), 2000 WL 98057, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 18, 2000). Alternatively, a motion for reconsideration may be granted to "correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice." Doe v. New York City Dep't of Soc. Servs., 709 F.2d 782, 789 (2d Cir. 1983). There is a ten-day time limit for bringing a motion for reconsideration. See S.D.N.Y. Local Rule 6.3 (requiring that a motion for reconsideration or reargument be served within ten days after the docketing of the court's determination of the original motion).

Local Rule 6.3 should be "narrowly construed and strictly applied so as to avoid repetitive arguments on issues that have been considered fully by the Court." Dellefave v. Access Temps., Inc., No. 99 Civ. 6098, 2001 WL 286771, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 22, 2001). A motion for reconsideration should not be considered an opportunity to "reargue those issues already considered when a party does not like the way the original motion was resolved."In re Houbigant, Inc., 914 F. Supp. 997, 1001 (S.D.N.Y. 1996). Similarly, the purpose of Rule 6.3 is to "ensure the finality of decisions and to prevent the practice of a losing party examining a decision and then plugging the gaps of a lost motion with additional matters." Carolco Pictures, Inc. v. Sirota, 700 F. Supp. 169, 170 (S.D.N.Y. 1988).

B. Plaintiffs Have Not Presented Grounds for Reconsideration

Plaintiffs' attempt to reargue issues that were carefully considered by this Court in March 2004 fails. First, the motion is untimely as the Memorandum and Order was docketed on March 29, 2004 and Plaintiffs did not file their motion to reconsider until April 23, 2004, well after the ten-day window permitted under Local Rule 6.3. Plaintiffs' motion could be denied on this basis alone. See, e.g., Gibson v. Wise, 331 F. Supp. 2d 168, 169 (E.D.N.Y. 2004) (denying motion for reconsideration as untimely);Siemans Westinghouse Power Corp. v. Dick Corp., 219 F.R.D. 552, 554 (S.D.N.Y. 2004) (same); Snall v. City of New York, No. 97 Civ. 5204, 1999 WL 1129054, at *3-4 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 19, 1999) (same). Second, Local Rule 6.3 "precludes a party from advancing new facts, issues or arguments not previously presented to the Court." Bank Leumi Trust Co. v. Istim, Inc., 902 F. Supp. 46, 48 (S.D.N.Y. 1995). There is no indication that any of the affidavits or exhibits submitted in conjunction with this motion were unavailable to Plaintiffs at the time of the briefing. The Court will not condone Plaintiffs' attempts to add to the record considered by the Court on summary judgment. See Carolco Pictures, 700 F. Supp. at 170.

Finally, Plaintiffs have not raised any issues of fact or law previously overlooked by this Court, nor have they argued or demonstrated that reconsideration is necessary to prevent manifest injustice. As pertinent here, in its March 26 Memorandum, this Court held that (1) New York law governed the various oral agreements between the parties; see March 26 Memorandum at 6-8, (2) an oral agreement to modify the written at-will Brokers Agreement violated New York's statute of frauds, see id. at 10-12; (3) the purchasing group Plaintiffs' breach of contract claims failed because those Plaintiffs did not have the authority to lawfully bind Defendants since they were not licensed brokers or agents, see id. at 12-13; (4) Plaintiffs failed to offer evidence of contracts with which the Defendants interfered to support their tortious interference claim, see id. at 13; and (5) an alleged oral agreement between a Plaintiff purchasing group and Defendants that allegedly would have negated that Plaintiff's obligation to return commissions it earned on refunded policies was unenforceable under New York's statute of frauds, see id. at 14-15.

Plaintiffs now argue that (1) the Court overlooked relationships with other states; (2) Pennsylvania law, which governs the 1995 Brokers Agreement, permits oral amendments; (3) the purchasing group Plaintiffs' breach of contract claims encompassed more than whether these Plaintiffs could bind Defendants to insurance policies; (4) the tortious interference claims were broader than the Court recognized; and (5) the oral agreement regarding a purchasing group Plaintiff's mandated return of commissions was actually an interpretation of a written term. All of these arguments either rely on new affidavits that the Court will not consider or were considered and rejected by the Court at the summary judgment stage. Accordingly, the Plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration is denied.

III. Conclusion

For the reasons set forth above, Plaintiffs' motion to reconsider this Court's March 26, 2004 Memorandum and Order is denied.