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Pearson v. Owen Electric Steel Company of South Carolina

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division

November 21, 2019

LEROY PEARSON, Plaintiff,
v.
OWEN ELECTRIC STEEL COMPANY OF SOUTH CAROLINA, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO RECONSIDER

          MARY G. LEWIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Leroy Pearson (Pearson) filed this job discrimination action against Defendant Owen Electric Steel Company of South Carolina (Owen Electric), his former employer. The Court has federal question jurisdiction over the lawsuit under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The matter is before the Court for consideration of Pearson's motion to reconsider (motion) the Court's Order granting Owen Electric's motion to dismiss.

         Having carefully considered the motion, the response, the reply, the record, and the relevant law, the Court will deny the motion.

         II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         In June of 2017, Pearson filed a lawsuit against Owen Electric claiming a violation of the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the state workers' compensation statute. See Pearson v. Owen Electric Steel Co. of S.C., C/A No. 3:17-1943-MBS (Pearson I). The allegations in Pearson I arise from an injury Pearson sustained in June of 2016 and Owen Electric's employment actions following his injury. On January 12, 2018, Judge Seymour dismissed Pearson I with prejudice.

         This lawsuit, Pearson II, is based on Owen Electric's alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Magistrate Judge recommended Owen Electric's motion to dismiss be granted on the basis this action is barred by the doctrine of res judicata. The Court accepted the Magistrate Judge's suggestion, granted Owen Electric's motion to dismiss, and entered judgment in favor of Owen Electric.

         Thereafter, Pearson filed this motion. Owen Electric then filed its response in opposition, and Pearson filed it's reply. The Court, having been fully briefed on the relevant issues, is prepared to adjudicate Pearson's motion.

         III. DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

         A. Whether Pearson's motion falls under Rule 54(b) or 59(e)

         Pearson argues the Court should consider his motion as a Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b) motion. Owen Electric, however, contends it is a Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) motion. Owen Electric is correct.

         Rule 54(b) provides, in relevant part:

[A]ny order or other decision, however designated, that adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties does not end the action as to any of the claims or parties and may be revised at any time before the entry of a judgment ...

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