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James D. Moses v. Gene L. Dodaro

April 20, 2012

JAMES D. MOSES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GENE L. DODARO, ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Royce C. Lamberth, Chief Judge,

MEMORANDUM OPINION

I. INTRODUCTION

This case comes before the Court on the plaintiff's motion [146] for reconsideration of this Court's January 12, 2012 Memorandum Opinion, granting the defendant's motion for summary judgment. Upon consideration of the filings, the entire record herein and the relevant law, the Court will DENY the plaintiff's motion for reconsideration.

II. BACKGROUND*fn1

The plaintiff, a retired Government Accountability Office ("GAO") employee, filed the instant action alleging, among other things, discrimination on the basis of age, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. The plaintiff alleges that the GAO discriminated against him in 2006 by restructuring its Band II employees into two categories, A and B. The plaintiff, who was placed into the lower paying B category, asserts that the GAO established this restructuring in an effort to "reshape the staff profile to eliminate a surplus of Senior Band II GAO analysts and specialists." Further, because of the new pay scale ranges associated with the restructuring, some Band IIB employees' salaries exceeded the applicable maximum for that position. The plaintiff fell into this category. Although no employees' salaries were reduced, the GAO denied these employees, again including the plaintiff, the 2006 cost-of-living allowance ("COLA") that most GAO employees received. Thus, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant additionally discriminated against him by failing to award him this COLA.

The plaintiff filed the instant action on October 4, 2006, seeking to represent a class of approximately 300 GAO auditors. In a December 2009 opinion, the Court (per Judge Sullivan) granted-in-part and denied-in-part without prejudice the defendant's motion to dismiss. The Court noted that the parties should present the Court with supplemental briefing on the impact, if any, of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. *fn2 The defendant, noting the recent statutory change, subsequently decided not to re-file their motion to dismiss on the grounds that the plaintiff's claim was untimely.

The plaintiff then filed an amended complaint, which the defendant moved to dismiss, or in the alternative, for summary judgment. The Court (per Judge Sullivan) granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment as it related to the plaintiff's disparate treatment claim of discrimination, and additionally denied the plaintiff's motion for discovery. The plaintiff's claim, as it related to a disparate impact theory of recovery, remained intact.

The defendant subsequently filed a renewed motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, motion for summary judgment, to address the remaining disparate impact discrimination claim.

The plaintiff filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, as well as a motion for reconsideration regarding the Court's denial of discovery of his disparate treatment claim. The Court, in its January 12, 2012 opinion, granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment and dismissed with prejudice the plaintiff's remaining claim. In that opinion, the Court also denied the plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of the denial of discovery.

The plaintiff now asks the Court to reconsider this most recent ruling on the grounds that

1) the Court misapprehended the plaintiff's responses to the defendant's reasonable factors other than age defense; 2) the Court used the wrong standard for denying discovery; 3) the law has changed within the six year duration of this case; and 4) the plaintiff discovered at least one new fact relevant to this litigation.

III. ANALYSIS

A. Standard of Review

Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a party, within 28 days following entry of a judgment, to file a motion to alter or amend that judgment. Motions filed under Rule 59(e) are generally disfavored, and are granted only when the moving party establishes that extraordinary circumstances justify relief. Niedermeier v. Office of Baucus, 153 F. Supp. 2d 23, 28 (D.D.C. 2001). A court need not grant such a motion unless it finds that there is an intervening change of controlling law, new evidence, or the need to correct clear error or prevent manifest injustice. Anyanwutaku v. Moore, 151 F.3d 1053, 1057--58 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (citations and quotation marks ...


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