United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND DENYING
MOTION TO CERTIFY JUDGMENT
E. SCHREIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
August 10, 2017, the court entered order granting motions to
strike and dismiss defendant, M.G. Oil Company's,
third-party complaint. Docket 23. On that same date, the
court also entered a judgment dismissing TestPoint
Paramedical, LLC as a third-party defendant. Docket 24. M.G.
Oil now moves for reconsideration of the court's August
10, 2017 order or, in the alternative, for an order
certifying that the court's judgment dismissing TestPoint
was a final judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
54(b). Docket 27. Plaintiff, the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC), and TestPoint oppose M.G. Oil's
motion. For the reasons that follow, the court denies M.G.
April 8, 2013, Kim Mullaney applied for a job in Sioux Falls,
South Dakota with Happy Jack's, which is owned by M.G.
Oil. Docket 2 ¶15. Contingent on the successful
completion of a drug test, Mullaney was offered a position
with M.G. Oil. Id. Mullaney took her drug test on
April 9, 2013. Id.
time Mullaney took her drug test, M.G. Oil had a contract
with TestPoint to have TestPoint analyze the drug tests of
M.G. Oil's prospective employees. Docket 7 ¶ 4.
Under this contract, TestPoint was required to inform M.G.
Oil whether the prospective employee's test results were
negative or non-negative for drugs. Id. M.G. Oil
asserts that before TestPoint shared the results of a
prospective employee's drug test with M.G. Oil, TestPoint
was required to send all non-negative drug tests to a medical
review officer to determine whether the non-negative result
was caused by the prospective employee's lawful use of a
prescription drug. Id. ¶ 5. Whenever a
prospective employee's non-negative result was caused by
lawful use of a prescription drug, TestPoint was required to
report the test result to M.G. Oil as negative. Id.
¶ 6. Per M.G. Oil's company policy, if a prospective
employee's drug test was reported to M.G. Oil as
non-negative, M.G. Oil would terminate the conditional offer
of employment. Docket 2 ¶ 17; Docket 7 ¶ 10.
reported to M.G. Oil that Mullaney's drug test result was
non-negative. Docket 2 ¶ 17; Docket 7 ¶ 9. Because
Mullaney's drug test result was non-negative, M.G. Oil
withdrew its conditional offer of employment consistent with
the company's drug test policy. Docket 2 ¶ 17;
Docket 7 ¶ 10. M.G. Oil contends that when it withdrew
Mullaney's conditional offer of employment, TestPoint
provided no indication that Mullaney's drug test had not
been sent to a medical review officer to verify the result.
Docket 7 ¶ 9.
claims she is a disabled person under Sections 3 and 101(8)
of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C.
§§ 12102 and 12111(8), and has impairments of her
neck and back. Docket 2 ¶ 14. Mullaney alleges that
after M.G. Oil withdrew her employment offer she explained to
M.G. Oil that the non-negative drug test result was caused by
her lawful use of a prescription pain killer that she took to
manage her impairments. Id. ¶ 18. Mullaney also
claims that despite her explanation, M.G. Oil refused to
reconsider its decision not to rehire her. Id.
to fit the ADA's disabled person description, Mullaney
filed her charge against M.G. Oil with the EEOC. Id.
¶ 7. On Mullaney's behalf, the EEOC sent a
conciliation letter to M.G. Oil, alerting the company of the
alleged discriminatory actions that it took against Mullaney
and seeking appropriate relief. Id. ¶ 8. M.G.
Oil and the EEOC could not reach an agreement about how to
resolve Mullaney's complaint with M.G. Oil. Id.
¶ 10. After the EEOC's letter concerning
Mullaney's alleged discrimination failed to resolve the
dispute, the EEOC filed suit against M.G. Oil on
Mullaney's behalf. Id. ¶¶ 9-10.
EEOC's complaint alleges that M.G. Oil has discriminated
against Mullaney and has used unlawful employment practices
both in violation of Title I of the ADA. Id.
¶¶ 3, 12. In response to these allegations, M.G.
Oil filed a third-party complaint against TestPoint, claiming
that if M.G. Oil was found to be liable to Mullaney for
discrimination, then TestPoint was liable to it for all
(indemnification) or part (contribution) of the judgment
because TestPoint breached its contract with M.G. Oil and was
negligent. Docket 7 ¶¶ 13-23. The EEOC moved to
strike M.G. Oil's third-party complaint. Docket 11. And
TestPoint moved to dismiss M.G. Oil's third-party
complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted. Docket 14.
August 10, 2017, the court entered order granting the
EEOC's motion to strike and granting TestPoint's
motion to dismiss M.G. Oil's third-party complaint.
Docket 23. In granting these motions, the court relied upon
the United States Supreme Court's decision in
Northwest Airlines, Inc. v. Transport Workers Union,
451 U.S. 77 (1981), and upon the United States Court of
Appeals for the Eighth Circuit's decision in
Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. of America v. IADA
Services., Inc., 497 F.3d 862 (8th Cir. 2007).
See Docket 23 at 5-8. In fact, the court concluded
that the impact of the decisions in Northwest
Airlines and Travelers required the court,
reasoning by analogy, to conclude that M.G. Oil's
third-party claims for contribution and indemnification were
impermissible under Title I of the ADA. Id. at 9
(citing Nw. Airlines, 451 U.S. at 98 and
Travelers, 497 F.3d 867-68).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure generally do not recognize
uniform standards for a court to analyze a motion to
reconsider. In this case, M.G. Oil brings its motion to
reconsider under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b), which
provides that “any order or other decision . . . that
adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and
liabilities of fewer than all the parties . . . may be
revised at any time before the entry of a judgment
adjudicating all the claims and all the parties' rights
and liabilities.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b); see also
Julianello v. K-V Pharm. Co., 791 F.3d 915, 923 n.3
(8th Cir. 2015) (noting that Rule 54(b) is the appropriate
rule under which to bring a motion to reconsider when final
judgment has not been entered on any of plaintiff's
claims). Under Rule 54(b), district courts have “the
inherent power to reconsider and modify an interlocutory
order any time prior to the entry of judgment.”
K.C.1986 Ltd. P'ship v. Reade Mfg., 472 F.3d
1009, 1017 (8th Cir. 2007) (quotation and citation omitted).
“While the specific standard for a motion made under
Rule 54(b) is unclear, generally courts have found the
standard . . . ‘to be less exacting than would be a
motion under Federal Rule of Procedure 59(e), which is in
turn less exacting than the standards enunciated in Federal
Rule of Procedure 60(b).' ” Planned Parenthood
Minn., N.D. v. Daugaard, 946 F.Supp.2d 913, 925 (D.S.D.
2013) (quoting Colombe v. Rosebud Sioux Tribe, 835
F.Supp.2d 736, 750 (D.S.D. 2011), overruled on other
grounds by Colombe v. Rosebud Sioux Tribe, 747 F.3d 1020
(8th Cir. 2014)); see also Doctor John's, Inc. v.
City of Sioux City, 438 F.Supp.2d 1005, 1027 (N.D. Iowa
2006). Although the court's reconsideration of
interlocutory orders might be less rigorous than that of
final orders for Rules 59(e) or 60(b), courts “should
look to the kinds of consideration under those rules for
guidance.” Doctor John's, 438 F.Supp.2d at
1027 (quotation and citation omitted). Like other motions to
reconsider, “[i]t is generally held that a court may
amend or reconsider any ruling under Rule 54(b) to correct
any clearly or manifestly erroneous findings of facts or
conclusions of law.” Jones v. Casey's Gen.
Stores, 551 F.Supp.2d 848, 854 (S.D. Iowa 2008)
(quotations and citation omitted).