United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Lindsay United States District Judge.
the court is Plaintiff's Motion for New Trial or to Alter
or Amend Judgment (Doc. 107), filed January 12, 2017. After
careful consideration of the motion, response, record, and
applicable law, and for the reasons stated herein, the court
denies Plaintiff's Motion for New Trial
or to Alter or Amend Judgment.
Hardy Jones (“Plaintiff” or “Jones”)
filed this action against Defendant Pate Rehabilitation
Endeavors, Inc. (“Defendant” or
“Pate”) on June 17, 2014. Jones amended his
complaint on February 25, 2015, asserting claims for sex
discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964; age discrimination in violation of the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”); and
retaliation under the ADEA and Title VII.
17, 2016, the court granted in part and denied in part
Pate's summary judgment motion. Specifically, the court
granted Pate's summary judgment motion with respect to
Jones's Title VII sex discrimination and retaliation
claims, and his ADEA retaliation claim, and dismissed these
claims with prejudice. The court denied Pate's summary
judgment motion with respect to Plaintiff's ADEA
discrimination claim, and it proceeded to trial.
trial took place before the court and a jury on December 7,
8, 9, 12, 13 and14, 2016. The jury found in answer to
Question No. 1 that Jones did not prove by a preponderance of
the evidence that, but for his age, Pate would not have
discharged him on December 11, 2013. The court entered a
final judgment in favor of Pate in accordance with its
Memorandum Opinion and Order (Doc. 57) and the jury verdict.
The judgment adjudged, ordered, and decreed that Jones take
nothing against Pate; that the action be dismissed with
prejudice; that all allowable costs be taxed against Jones;
and that all relief not granted in the judgment was denied.
states that his motion is brought pursuant to Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure 59(a), 59(e), and 60(b). Pl.'s Mot.
for New Trial 1. Plaintiff also states that he is
alternatively asserting that judgment as a matter of law
should have been granted in his favor. In his motion for new
trial or to alter or amend the judgment, Jones contends that:
(1) the jury's verdict is clearly contrary to the
evidence and that he proved his ADEA claim by a preponderance
of the evidence; (2) the evidence at trial established that
Pate's reasons for firing Jones were false and shown to
be a pretext for intentional age discrimination; and (3) the
jury based its verdict on evidence not in the record and was
unduly influenced by pernicious comments made by the court.
For the reasons that follow, the court disagrees. Because
Plaintiff misapprehends, misapplies, and misinterprets the
evidence, and takes matters out of context, the court will
not expend scarce judicial resources addressing each of his
misconceptions and red herrings. The court devotes its
attention to why Plaintiff's motion is without merit.
Motion for New Trial - Rule 59(a)
court, upon motion, may “grant a new trial on all or
some of the issues” to any party after a jury trial,
for any reasons for which a new trial has heretofore been
granted in an action at a law in federal court.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(a)(1)(A). New trials may be granted if a
district court determines that the “verdict is against
the weight of the evidence, the damages awarded are
excessive, the trial was unfair, or prejudicial error was
committed in its course.” Smith v. Transworld
Drilling Co., 773 F.2d 610, 613 (5th Cir. 1985)
(footnote and citations omitted). The appeals court reviews
the denial of a motion for trial for an abuse of discretion.
A “district court abuses its discretion by denying a
new trial ‘only when there is an absolute absence of
evidence to support the jury's verdict.'”
Wellogix, Inc. v. Accenture, L.L.P., 716 F.3d 867,
881 (5th Cir. 2013) (citations omitted). If the evidence at
trial is legally sufficient to support the jury's
verdict, a district court does not abuse its discretion by
denying a motion for new trial. One Beacon Ins. Co. v. T.
Wade Welch & Assocs., 841 F.3d 669, 676 (5th Cir.
2016) (citations omitted). The appeals court is to view the
evidence “in the light most favorable to the jury
verdict.” Wellogix, 716 F.3d at 881 (quoting
Seidman v. American Airlines, Inc., 923 F.2d 1134,
1140 (5th Cir. 1991)). A motion for new trial must clearly
show that “a manifest error of law” occurred at
the trial. Simon v. United States, 891 F.2d 1154,
1159 (5th Cir. 1991) (citation omitted).
Motion to Amend or Alter Judgment - Rule 59(e)
motion to alter or amend the judgment under Rule 59(e)
“calls into question the correctness of a
judgment.” Templet v. HydroChem Inc., 367 F.3d
473, 478 (5th Cir. 2004) (citation omitted). Such motion
“must clearly establish either a manifest error of law
or fact or must present newly discovered evidence.”
Marseilles Homeowners Condominium Ass'n Inc. v.
Fidelity Nat'l Ins. Co., 542 F.3d 1053, 1058 (5th
Cir. 2008) (citation omitted). It may not be used to
relitigate issues that were resolved to the movant's
dissatisfaction. Forsythe v. Saudi Arabian Airlines
Corp., 885 F.2d 285, 289 (5th Cir. 1989). A Rule 59(e)
motion may not raise arguments or present evidence that could
have been raised prior to entry of judgment. Simon v.
United States, 891 F.2d 1154, 1159 (5th Cir. 1990)
courts have “considerable discretion in deciding
whether to grant or deny a motion to alter a judgment.”
Hale v. Townley, 45 F.3d 914, 921 (5th Cir. 1995).
In exercising this discretion, a district court must
“strike the proper balance between the need for
finality and the need to render just decisions on the basis
of all the facts.” Id. With this balance in
mind, the Fifth Circuit has observed that Rule 59(e)
“favor[s] the denial of motions to alter or amend a
judgment.” Southern Constructors Grp., Inc. v.
Dynalectric Co., 2 F.3d 606, 611 (5th Cir. 1993). Stated
another way, “[r]econsideration of a judgment after its
entry is an extraordinary remedy that should be used
sparingly.” Templet, 367 F.3d at 479.
Motion for Relief from a Judgment or Order - Rule
applicable federal rule provides as follows:
motion and just terms, the court may relieve a party or its
legal representative from a final judgment, order, or
proceeding for the following reasons:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable
diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for
a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic),
misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party,
(4) the judgment is void;
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released or discharged;
it is based on an earlier judgment that has been reversed or
vacated; or applying it prospectively is no longer equitable;
(6) any other reason that justifies relief.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(1)-(6). Although Jones cites this rule
as a basis for bringing his motion for new trial or to alter
the judgment, he fails to cite the particular subsection on
which he is relying. Thus, the court does not know
Jones's basis for invoking Rule 60(b). As Jones fails to
explain why he is entitled to relief under this rule, the
court will deny his motion insofar as he requests relief
under Rule 60(b).
Judgment as a Matter of Law - Rule 50(a)
rule provides in relevant part:
(a) Judgment as a Matter of Law.
(1) In General. If a party has been fully heard on an issue
during a jury trial and the court finds that a reasonable
jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to