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Edwards v. ALDI Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division

June 21, 2018

JENNIFER EDWARDS, Plaintiff,
v.
ALDI, INC., a foreign Corporation, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

          THOMAS L. LUDINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         On March 1, 2017, Plaintiff Jennifer Edwards filed a complaint against Defendant ALDI, Inc., alleging various violations of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Compl., ECF No. 1. Plaintiff alleges Defendant interfered with the exercise of her right to take leave under the FMLA, and retaliated against her for doing so by terminating her employment. Id. Plaintiff also alleges she was terminated for refusing to be complicit in fraudulent activity, in violation of public policy, and that she was discriminated against based on her disability. Id. After eight months of discovery, Defendant moved for summary judgment on February 19, 2018. ECF No. 27. Plaintiff responded on March 12, and Defendant replied on March 26. ECF Nos. 31, 32. On May 9, 2018, the Court entered an order granting Defendant's motion for summary judgment, and dismissing the complaint in its entirety. ECF No. 37. On May 23, Plaintiff filed a timely motion for reconsideration. ECF No. 39. A full factual summary was provided in the Court's May 9 order granting Defendant's motion for summary judgment. See id.

         I.

         Pursuant to Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 7.1(h), a party can file a motion for reconsideration of a previous order, but must do so within fourteen days. A motion for reconsideration will be granted if the moving party shows: “(1) a palpable defect, (2) the defect misled the court and the parties, and (3) that correcting the defect will result in a different disposition of the case.” Michigan Dept. of Treasury v. Michalec, 181 F.Supp.2d 731, 733-34 (E.D. Mich. 2002) (quoting E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(g)(3)). A “palpable defect” is “obvious, clear, unmistakable, manifest, or plain.” Id. at 734 (citing Marketing Displays, Inc. v. Traffix Devices, Inc., 971 F.Supp.2d 262, 278 (E.D. Mich. 1997). “[T]he Court will not grant motions for rehearing or reconsideration that merely present the same issues ruled upon by the Court, either expressly or by reasonable implication.” E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(h)(3). See also Bowens v. Terris, 2015 WL 3441531, at *1 (E.D. Mich. May 28, 2015).

         II.

         Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration contends that the analysis in the Court's Order contains three palpable defects:

First, this Court erred in failing to find that Plaintiff suffered from a “serious health condition” as defined by the Act . . . . Second and as a result of the first error, this Court erred in failing to find Plaintiff engaged in protected activity, which was based upon its prior improper reasoning that Plaintiff did not suffer a serious health condition. Lastly, this Court erred in failing to find a factual question regarding the issue of pretext.

Mot. at 1-2.

         A.

         i.

         “For purposes of FMLA, a serious health condition entitling an employee to FMLA leave means an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care as defined in § 825.114 or continuing treatment by a health care provider as defined in § 825.115.” 29 C.F.R. § 825.113. Inpatient care, in turn, “means an overnight stay in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, including any period of incapacity as defined in § 825.113(b), or any subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care.” 29 C.F.R. § 825.114. “Continuing treatment by a health care provider” includes, among other things, (c) Chronic Conditions. Any period of incapacity or treatment for such incapacity due to a chronic serious health condition. A chronic serious health condition is one which:

(1) Requires periodic visits (defined as at least twice a year) for treatment by a health care provider, or by a nurse under direct supervision of a health care provider;
(2) Continues over an extended period of time (including recurring episodes of a single underlying condition); and
(3) May cause episodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity (e.g., asthma, ...

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