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Daniel W. Crandall v. Seagate Technology

June 30, 2011

DANIEL W. CRANDALL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY, BEST BUY CO., INC., SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY (THAILAND), LTD, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Mikel H. Williams United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

Currently pending before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion to Reconsider the February 9, 2011 Judgment for Best Buy (Dkt. 94), filed March 7, 2011 and Defendant Best Buy's Motion for Attorney Fees (Dkt. 92), filed February 22, 2011.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Daniel D. Crandall ("Plaintiff") filed this lawsuit on March 9, 2010 alleging claims of negligence, strict products liability, and breach of warranty for the failure of the 7200.11 hard drives manufactured by Defendant Seagate Technology and Seagate Technology Thailand Ltd. ("Seagate Thailand") and purchased at Defendant Best Buy's store.

On January 25, 2011, this Court entered an order finding in favor Defendant Best Buy on all of Plaintiff's claims. Judgment was entered in favor of Best Buy on February 9, 2011. The Court found that Plaintiff's claim under the Idaho Products Liability Reform Act failed because Best Buy was exempt under the "seller's exemption" found at

I.C. § 6-1407(1). The Court also found that none of the exceptions found at I.C. § 6-1407(4) apply the seller's exemption. The Court also found that the negligence claim failed because all of the damages claimed by Plaintiff were economic loss which is not recoverable in negligence. Lastly, the Court found that no warranties had been breached. As for the implied warranty of merchantability, the Court found that the hard drives were not defective at the time they were delivered and therefore there could be no claim for breach of the implied warranty of merchantability. Next, with respect to the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, the Court found that this implied warranty was never created because the Plaintiff never relied on any representation made by any employee of Best Buy.

DISCUSSION

1. Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration

While Plaintiff does not state what rule he moves for reconsideration under, because he moves for reconsideration prior to a trial taking place, the appropriate avenues for reconsideration are Rules 59(e) or 60(b). See School Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah County, OR v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1262 (9th Cir. 1993). Under Rule 59(e), "[r]econsideration is appropriate if the district court (1) is presented with newly discovered evidence, (2) committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust; or (3) if there is an intervening change in controlling law." Id. at 1263. "Rule 60(b) provides for reconsideration only upon a showing of (1) mistake, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence; (3) fraud; (4) a void judgment; (5) a satisfied or discharged judgment; (6) extraordinary circumstances which would justify relief." Id. at 1264 (internal quotations omitted). These rules offer an "extraordinary remedy, to be used sparingly in the interests of finality and conservation of judicial resources." Kona Enterprises, Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000) (internal quotation omitted).

Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration most likely falls within the realm of Rule 59(e) as Plaintiff makes arguments regarding new evidence and an expanded factual record and also argues that reconsideration is necessary to correct clear error and prevent manifest injustice. The Court will summarize and address his arguments.

A. New Evidence/Expanded Factual Record

Plaintiff makes several arguments regarding new evidence and an expanded factual record that he believes would justify reconsideration of the Court's January 25, 2011 Memorandum Decision and Order ("Order"). The most critical piece of information that he argues should reverse the Court's ruling is that in response to a discovery request, co-Defendant Seagate Technology*fn1 denied that it "did not promptly notify Best Buy Co, Inc. at any time in writing to disclose a firmware defect or safety issue as respect Seagate hard disk drives sold by them" (Crandall Aff, Ex. 1, Dkt. 94-5, p. 16.). Plaintiff argues, "[i]n other words, Seagate admits giving Best Buy warning of a defect or safety issue involving the hard disk drives sold by Best Buy." (Pl's Mem. Dkt. 94-1, at 2).

Plaintiff also cites to reports from LWG Consulting as evidence that the hard disk drives failed due to defective hardware. Plaintiff also references the expert report of Dr. Andrew D. Hospodor, dated December 15, 2010. Lastly, the other "new" evidence provided by Plaintiff is a print out of reviews of the Seagate 1tb internal hard disk drive from Best Buy's website. (Crandall Aff., Ex. 1, Dkt. 94-3.) Plaintiff contends that in his earlier filings, he "inadvertently printed only 4 of 83 reviews" for his exhibit and therefore, the record is now expanded and complete. (Crandall Aff., Dkt. 94-2.)

A Rule 59(e) motion "may not be used to raise arguments or present evidence for the first time when they could have reasonably been raised earlier in the litigation." Kona Enterprises, Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000) The failure to file documents in an original motion or opposition does not turn the late filed documents into "newly discovered evidence." School Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah County, Oregon v. AcandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1262 (9th Cir. 1993). To prevail on a Rule 59(e) motion because of newly discovered evidence, the movant must show the evidence (1) existed at the time of the trial or proceeding at which the ruling now protested was entered; (2) ...


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