United States District Court, D. Maryland
Catherine C. Blake, United States District Judge
before the court is the plaintiffs motion for
reconsideration. Johnson seeks reconsideration pursuant to
Rules 59(e) and 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
59(e) motions can be successful in only three situations: (1)
to accommodate an intervening change in controlling law; (2)
to account for new evidence not available at trial; or (3) to
correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest
injustice." United States ex rel. Carter v.
Halliburton Co., 866 F.3d 199, 210-11 (4th Cir. 2017)
(internal citation and quotation marks omitted).
"Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) authorizes a
district court to grant relief from a final judgment for five
enumerated reasons or for any other reason that justifies
relief." Athens v. Ingram, 652 F.3d 496, 500
(4th Cir. 2011) (internal citation and quotation mark
omitted). While Johnson does not specify which basis
it believes serves as grounds for reconsideration, the court
understands from its pleading that it believes that both a
clear error of law and a mistake of fact occurred in the
court's dismissal of its complaint.
sets forth three arguments in support of its motion: (1) the
court improperly concluded that USPS would not have paid a
subrogation claim had Johnson asserted it; (2) the Delaware
Workers Compensation Statute should have been applied, and,
had it been applied, would have entitled Johnson to seek
subrogation of the workers compensation claim; and (3) the
court misapplied Maryland's good faith and fair dealing
three of these arguments are unpersuasive. First, contrary to
Johnson's claim, the court was not unaware of paragraph
53 of the complaint; it simply disagreed with the legal
conclusion it proffered, especially considering the
contradictory language in paragraph 22 of the complaint.
See EndoSurg Med, Inc. v. EndoMaster Med, Inc., 71
F.Supp.3d 525, 541 (D. Md. 2014) ("In considering the
sufficiency of a' complaint alleging breach of contract,
any ambiguity or uncertainty in the allegations is to be
construed against the pleader." (internal citation and
quotation marks omitted)).
only did the complaint present an obvious ambiguity, but it
also contained an incorrect conclusion of law. At the heart
of the case is the fact that Johnson never paid for any
portion of the workers compensation claim. Any reimbursement
of the workers compensation claim necessarily would go to
Nationwide, with which Johnson insured itself for the precise
purpose of avoiding paying out of pocket for large workers
compensation claims. Johnson is not entitled to
reimbursement, having spent no money on the claim itself, and
therefore cannot subrogate an expense it did not incur.
Neither Delaware nor Maryland workers compensation statutes
entitle employers to reimbursement for nonexistent expenses.
extent Johnson claims it is entitled to relief because it
should have been permitted to seek a subrogation claim
against USPS despite not being entitled by law or reason
to do so, the court has no grounds to permit parties to
litigate a case based on lost extrajudicial opportunities.
Based on the parties' contract and the surrounding law,
Johnson had no legal right to pursue a subrogation claim
against USPS. It is of no matter that Johnson speculates
that, despite Johnson's lack of legal remedy, USPS
may have agreed to subrogate the workers
compensation claim even if Johnson had no legal right to
such. Without a legal right at stake, there is nothing here
for the court to enforce or remedy.
contrary to Johnson's claims, the court did
apply the DWCA to the facts in this case, and found that it,
much like the MWCA, only permitted reimbursement of workers
compensation expenses. Johnson, again, had no such expenses.
regarding Johnson's good faith and fair dealing claim,
Johnson again misapprehends established law. Under Maryland
contract law, the principle of good faith and fair dealing
only applies to express promises. K Shore Markets, Inc.
v. J.D. Assocs. Ltd. P'ship, 213 F.3d 175, 184 (4th
Cir. 2000). Nothing in the parties' contract constitutes
an express promise by Nationwide to pursue subrogation-in
fact, just the opposite is true, as the contract's only
mention of subrogation constitutes an express promise by
Johnson not to interfere with Nationwide's right to
the court will deny Johnson's motion for reconsideration.
A separate order follows.
 Specifically, the rule provides that a
court may relieve a party from a final judgment for the