United States District Court, D. New Mexico
GABRIEL ARMENDARIZ, ERIC DION COLEMAN, JACOB GOMEZ, TONY LOVATO, MATTHEW J. LUCERO, EDWARD R. MANZANARES, JOE MARTINEZ, CHRISTOPHER MAVIS, PHILIP TALACHY, FELIPE J. TRUJILLO, and JOSEPH VIGIL, on their own behalf and on behalf of a class of similarly situated persons, Plaintiffs,
SANTA FE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, and MARK GALLEGOS, in his individual and official capacity, and INDUSTRIAL COMMERCIAL COATINGS, LLC, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING COUNTY
DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO RECONSIDER
MATTER comes before the Court upon a Motion to Reconsider
Memorandum Opinion and Order Denying Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiffs' Third Cause of Action, filed by Defendants
Santa Fe County Board of Commissioners and Mark Gallegos
(“County Defendant” or “Defendants”)
on September 25, 2018 (Doc. 166). Having
reviewed the parties' briefs and applicable law, I find
that Defendant's action is not well-taken and shall be
case is a putative class action arising from Defendants'
renovation of the shower facilities at the Santa Fe Adult
Correctional Facility (“ACF”) in the spring of
2014 when Plaintiffs and the class members were inmates at
the ACF. Plaintiffs allege that they were exposed to dust,
debris, and hazardous chemicals, which caused them injury.
mentioned in the Court's decision, the federal case
before the Court here is a continuation of a prior state
court class action by Plaintiffs in the First Judicial
District Court County of Santa Fe, State of New Mexico.
See Doc. 140 (Mem. Opin. & Order). The state
court action was filed in March 2016 by two of the named
Plaintiffs in this case, Joe Martinez and Christopher Mavis,
on their own behalf and on behalf of a class of similarly
situated persons, and asserted state law claims brought under
the New Mexico Tort Claims Act (“TCA”). The
federal case was initiated a year later when Plaintiffs Mavis
and Martinez joined with additional named Plaintiffs to file
a class action asserting claims under 42 U.S.C. §1983
(Doc. 1). Both the state and federal lawsuits are based on
the same underlying facts.
to an agreement among the parties, all claims raised in both
lawsuits are being litigated here in federal court. As part
of that agreement, Plaintiffs were granted leave to amend the
federal complaint to include the state law claims that had
been raised in the state court action and to add Industrial
Commercial Coatings, LLC (“ICC”) as a Defendant.
Following the filing of the amended complaint, Plaintiffs
dismissed the state case without prejudice.
March 20, 2018, the County Defendants filed a motion to
dismiss Plaintiffs' Tort Claims Act claims. The Court
denied the motion, finding that Plaintiffs' counsel had
relied on defense counsel's representations when they
agreed to dismiss the state court and that Plaintiffs'
state law claims survived:
have waived the statute of limitations defense, are estopped
from asserting the defense, and that Plaintiffs' state
law claims are equitably tolled. Doc. 140 at 1. Defendants
seek reconsideration of the Court's ruling in that
motion to reconsider is appropriate where a court has
patently misunderstood a party, or has made a decision
outside the adversarial issues presented to the court by the
parties, or has made an error not of reasoning, but of
apprehension. Servants of the Paraclete v. Does, 204
F.3d 1005, 1012 (10th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted);
Huff v. UARCO, Inc., 925 F.Supp. 550, 561 (N.D.Ill.
raise several arguments in their motion to reconsider,
claiming that the Court misapprehended the facts and the law
in its rulings. The main thrust of these arguments is
Court's conclusion that County Defendants waived their
defense turns on a misapprehension of fact and law; and
that equitable estoppel does not apply to the “new
named Plaintiffs'” Tort Claims Act
Court agrees with Plaintiffs that the motion to reconsider
revisits issues on which the Court has already devoted
considerable time and does not indicate that the Court has
misapprehended either the law or facts. However, the Court
presents Defendants' main arguments below ...