United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
GGNSC LOUISVILLE ST. MATTHEWS, et al., Plaintiffs,
ROBERT GREVIOUS, as Guardian of Melvin Hardin, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. Hale, Judge.
Grevious sued various GGNSC entities in Jefferson Circuit
Court on behalf of his brother Melvin Hardin, who was a
resident of GGNSC's Golden LivingCenter - St.
Matthews.Grevious alleged that GGNSC negligently
caused injury to Hardin and violated his rights as a
nursing-home resident under Kentucky law. (Docket No. 1-1,
PageID # 23-31) Grevious also sued two Golden LivingCenter
administrators, Kristi Noah and Joshua Schindler.
(Id., PageID # 14)
filed its own action in this Court pursuant to the Federal
Arbitration Act, seeking to compel arbitration of
Grevious's claims and stay the state-court case. (D.N. 1,
PageID # 1-2) GGNSC has moved to compel arbitration (D.N. 4),
and Grevious has moved to dismiss on various grounds. (D.N.
7) For the reasons explained below, the Court will deny the
motion to dismiss and grant the motion to compel arbitration.
Hardin was admitted to Golden LivingCenter - St. Matthews on
January 7, 2016. As part of the admissions process, his
attorney in fact (Grevious) signed an alternative dispute
resolution agreement. (D.N. 1-2) The ADR Agreement requires
the parties to arbitrate
[a]ny and all disputes arising out of or in any way relating
to th[e ADR] Agreement or the Resident's stay at the
Facility or the Admissions Agreement between the Parties that
would constitute a legally cognizable cause of action in a
court of law sitting in the state where [the] Facility is
located. Covered Disputes include but are not limited to all
claims in law or equity arising from one Party's failure
to satisfy a financial obligation to the other Party; a
violation of a right claimed to exist under federal, state,
or local law or contractual agreement between the Parties;
tort; breach of contract; consumer protection; fraud;
misrepresentation; negligence; gross negligence; malpractice;
and any alleged departure from any applicable federal, state,
or local medical, health care, consumer, or safety standards.
(D.N. 1, PageID # 5-6 (first alteration in original) (quoting
ADR Agreement at 12 § III)) The Agreement bound Hardin
and his legal representatives. (D.N. 1-2, PageID # 41 §
to the state-court complaint, GGNSC caused Hardin to suffer
infections and pressure sores, as well as “unnecessary
loss of personal dignity, extreme pain and suffering,
degradation, mental anguish, disability, and
disfigurement.” (D.N. 1-1, PageID # 23 ¶ 26)
Grevious asserted various claims of negligence against GGNSC
on Hardin's behalf. (See id., PageID # 23-31) He
further alleged that GGNSC violated Hardin's rights as a
long-term care resident under Ky. Rev. Stat. § 216.515.
(See id., PageID # 31-32)
case, GGNSC seeks to compel arbitration of Grevious's
claims pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act. (D.N. 1)
Because the FAA does not provide federal-question
jurisdiction, Moses H. Cone Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercury
Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 21-22 n.32 (1983), GGNSC
invoked the Court's diversity jurisdiction. (See
D.N. 1, PageID # 4) Grevious argues that diversity is lacking
and that dismissal is warranted on various other legal and
equitable grounds. (See D.N. 7-2) None of his
arguments are persuasive.
Court has previously rejected, on multiple occasions, all of
the arguments made by Grevious in this case. See
Brandenburg Health Facilities, LP v. Mattingly, No.
3:15-cv-833-DJH, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79729 (W.D. Ky. June
20, 2016); GGNSC Louisville Mt. Holly, LLC v.
Mohamed-Vall, No. 3:16-cv-136-DJH, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
81254 (W.D. Ky. Apr. 6, 2016); GGNSC Louisville
Hillcreek, LLC v. Watkins, No. 3:15-cv-902-DJH, 2016
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25372 (W.D. Ky. Feb. 29, 2016). In the
interest of judicial economy, the Court's analysis here
will be brief, referring to those prior cases as appropriate.
first asserts that the Court lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction because an indispensable nondiverse
party-namely, Golden LivingCenter administrator Joshua
Schindler- was not joined. (D.N. 7-2, PageID # 89-102) Citing
Vaden v. Discover Bank, 556 U.S. 49 (2009), Grevious
argues that the Court must look to the underlying controversy
in determining whether subject-matter jurisdiction exists.
(D.N. 7-2, PageID # 93) Vaden, however, does not
apply in diversity cases. See Watkins, 2016 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 25372, at *4-*5. And the nursing-home
administrators are not indispensable: the Court can decide
the entire controversy in their absence; their interests in
the litigation are the same as GGNSC's; and there is no
danger of inconsistent obligations. See Id. at
*5-*7; Fed.R.Civ.P. 19(a). The fact that Schindler may be a
Kentucky citizen (as is Grevious) thus does not deprive the
Court of diversity jurisdiction, and dismissal is not
warranted for either lack of subject-matter jurisdiction or
failure to join an indispensable party. (See
D.N. 7-2, PageID # 89-102)