No New Facts Alleged in Plaintiff’s Motion for Reargument; Reargument Denied

On February 2, 2017 the Superior Court of Delaware granted defendant Georgia Southern University Advanced Development Center’s (Herty) motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs since filed a motion for reargument and reconsideration of that order. Dorothy Ramsey alleged that Herty, a manufacturer of an asbestos paper product, negligently failed to warn her of the risks of take-home asbestos exposure due to her husband’s workplace exposure from 1976-80. The plaintiff alleged that Herty’s failure to warn of the danger was a proximate cause of the decedent’s lung cancer.

A motion for reargument under Delaware Superior Court Civil Rule 59(e) permits the court to reconsider “its findings of fact, conclusions of law, or judgment. …” “Delaware law places a heavy burden on a [party] seeking relief pursuant to Rule 59.” To prevail on a motion for reargument, the movant must demonstrate that “the Court has overlooked a controlling precedent or legal principles, or the Court has misapprehended the law or facts such as would have changed the outcome of the underlying decision.” Further, “[a] motion for reargument is not a device for raising new arguments,” nor is it “intended to rehash the arguments already decided by the court.”

In the plaintiff’s current motion to reconsider, the plaintiff does not argue any newly discovered evidence or a change of law. The plaintiff contended that the court misapprehended the law and facts relevant to Herty’s original summary judgment motion. Ultimately, the court found that the arguments contained in the plaintiff’s motion to reconsider were exhaustively considered in the underlying summary judgment motion. The court notes that the plaintiff’s dissatisfaction with the ruling does not give rise to a right for a reconsideration. The court concluded by stating, “Plaintiff’s Motion disagrees with that conclusion, but this does not entitle her to reconsideration of that decision, particularly in the absence of any new or supplemental authority on this issue.”

Read the full decision here.