United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
ANITA S. LIMA and SUSAN WRUBLEWSKI, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
POST CONSUMER BRANDS, LLC, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR
ALLISON D. BURROUGHS U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
S. Lima and Susan Wrublewski (“Plaintiffs”)
brought a putative class action against Defendant Post
Consumer Brands, LLC (“Post”), alleging that
Post's advertising and packaging of its Honey Bunches of
Oats cereal was deceptive. [ECF No. 25 (“Amended
Complaint” or “Am. Compl.”) ¶¶
20-39, 57-103]. Plaintiffs claimed that Post violated state
consumer protection laws and unjustly enriched itself by
creating the false impression that Honey Bunches of Oats was
primarily sweetened with honey. [Id.]. The Court
dismissed the Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim.
[ECF No. 45]. Presently before the Court is Plaintiffs'
motion for reconsideration. [ECF No. 47]. For the reasons
discussed herein, the motion for reconsideration is
following short recitation of facts is drawn from the Amended
Complaint. [ECF No. 25]. A more complete version of the facts
is provided in the Court's August 13, 2019, Order
(“Order”). See Lima v. Post Consumer Brands,
LLC, No. 18-cv-12100, 2019 WL 3802885, at *1-4 (D. Mass.
Aug. 13, 2019); [ECF No. 45]. Post manufactures and sells
several different varieties of cereal under the registered
trademark “Honey Bunches of Oats.” U.S. Patent
& Trademark Office, Honey Bunches of Oats,
Registration No. 1575358, http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/.
Plaintiffs alleged that they purchased Honey Bunches of Oats
with Almonds under the mistaken belief that honey was the
cereal's exclusive or primary sweetener. [Am. Compl.
¶¶ 40-45]. Plaintiffs did not look at the
ingredient list, which disclosed that honey is the
cereal's fifth most prominent sweetener, and instead
relied on “several television commercials” and
Post's “branding and packaging” that
“emphasized the presence of honey.” [Id.
¶¶ 28, 42, 44]. Plaintiffs claimed that Post's
packaging and marketing led them to expect that honey was a
much more prominent ingredient. [Id. ¶¶
October 5, 2018, Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit. [ECF No. 1].
They amended their complaint on February 8, 2019. [Am.
Compl.]. The Amended Complaint sought relief on behalf of
five putative classes of consumers who had purchased some
variety of Honey Bunches of Oats. [Id. ¶¶
46-50]. Plaintiffs asserted seven counts, including
violations of state consumer protection laws and unjust
enrichment. [Id. ¶¶ 57-103].
February 22, 2019, Post filed a motion to dismiss. [ECF No.
29]. Plaintiffs timely opposed on April 5, 2019. [ECF No.
35]. Post replied on April 17, 2019. [ECF No. 39]. Plaintiffs
filed a sur-reply on May 3, 2019. [ECF No. 42]. This Court
granted the motion to dismiss on August 13, 2019. [ECF No.
filed their motion for reconsideration on September 9, 2019.
[ECF No. 47]. Post responded on September 23, 2019. [ECF No.
“[t]he Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not
specifically provide for the filing of motions for
reconsideration, ” such motions are usually decided
pursuant to either Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) or
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). See Cent. Produce
El Jibarito v. Luna Commercial Corp., 880 F.Supp.2d 282,
284 (D.P.R. 2012) (citation omitted). In the First Circuit,
“a motion which ask[s] the court to modify its earlier
disposition of a case because of an allegedly erroneous legal
result is brought under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e).” Appeal
of Sun Pipe Line Co., 831 F.2d 22, 24 (1st Cir. 1987).
Though Plaintiffs do not identify the basis for their motion
for reconsideration, they claim that the Court
“committed manifest errors of law.” [ECF No. 47
at 2, 6]. The Court therefore understands the motion as being
brought under Rule 59(e).
a motion for reconsideration under Rule 59(e) “is an
extraordinary remedy which should be used sparingly.”
Palmer v. Champion Mortg., 465 F.3d 24, 30 (1st Cir.
2006) (quoting 11 Charles Alan Wright et al., Federal
Practice and Procedure § 2810.1 (2d ed. 1995)). “A
court . . . may grant a motion for reconsideration where the
movant shows a manifest error of law or newly discovered
evidence.” Ruiz Rivera v. Pfizer Pharm., LLC,
521 F.3d 76, 81-82 (1st Cir. 2008) (quotation marks omitted).
“[S]imple disagreement with the court's decision is
not a basis for reconsideration.” Ofori v. Ruby
Tuesday, Inc., 205 Fed. App'x 851, 852-53 (1st Cir.
2006). “The repetition of previous arguments is not
sufficient to prevail on a Rule 59(e) motion.”
United States v. $23, 000 in U.S. Currency, 356 F.3d
157, 165 n.9 (1st Cir. 2004).