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Golden Gate National Senior Care, LLC v. Leach

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division

February 6, 2018

Golden Gate National Senior Care, LLC; GGNSC Vanceburg, LLC; GGNSC Administrative Services, LLC; GGNSC Holdings, LLC; and GGNSC Equity Holdings, LLC, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CINDY LEACH, Individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of WILLOW DEAN LEACH, DEFENDANT.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          HENRY R. WILHOIT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court upon Defendant's Motion to Dismiss [Docket No. 5] and Plaintiffs' Motion to Enforce Arbitration Agreement and Enjoin Defendant [Docket No. 7]. The motions have been fully briefed by the parties and for the reasons set forth herein, the Court finds that dismissal is not warranted and that the arbitration agreement which forms the basis of this lawsuit is legal, binding and enforceable.

         I.

         This case arises from Willow Dean Leach' residency at Golden Living Center in Vanceburg, Kentucky from February 17, 2016 until March 31, 2016. As part of the admissions process, she, by and through her attorney-in-fact, Cindy Leach, executed certain documents. First, Cindy Leach signed the agreement under the authority granted to her by a Power of Attorney executed by Willow Leach on February 5, 2016 including the power to "draw, make and sign any and all checks, contracts, or agreements, " and the power to "institute or defend suits concerning my property or rights." [Docket No. 1-2]. She also signed an Arbitration Agreement, a copy of which is attached to the Complaint as Exhibit 1.

         The Arbitration Agreement contains a provision, which provides in pertinent part:

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 Party; a violation of a right claimed to exist 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.

[Docket No. 1-1].

         Defendant alleges that while at Golden Living Center, Willow Leach suffered physical and emotional injuries due to inadequate care, and her health and physical condition deteriorated beyond that caused by the normal aging process.

         On March 7, 2017, Defendant filed in the Circuit Court of Lewis County, Kentucky, Case No. 17-CI-00035, a negligence, medical negligence, corporate negligence, and wrongful death action against GGNSC Vanceburg LLC d/b/a Golden Living Center -Vanceburg, GGNSC Equity Holdings, LLC, GGNSC Equity Holdings H, LLC, Golden Gate National Senior Care, LLC, GGNSC Administrative Services, LLC, GGNSC Holdings, LLC, and Joy J. Dingess, in her capacity as Administrator of Golden Living Center - Vanceburg.

         On April 27, 2017, the corporate defendants from the Lewis County action filed this civil action, as Plaintiffs, alleging federal subject matter jurisdiction by virtue of diversity and seeking substantially the same relief from this Court regarding arbitration as they seek in state court - namely, to find the arbitration agreement to be valid and enforceable, to compel Defendant to arbitrate the State Court claims, and to enter an order enjoining Defendant from pursuing her claims in Lewis Circuit Court.

         Defendant seeks a dismissal of all claims alleged herein. She contends that this Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, that Plaintiffs failed to join an indispensable party and that the Court should not exercise its power to enjoin her from continuing the prosecution of the state court action.

         Plaintiffs seek entry of an Order compelling Defendant to proceed to arbitration and, in addition, enjoining her from pursing her claims in state court.

         II.

         The purpose of a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), is to allow a defendant to test whether, as a matter of law, the plaintiff is entitled to legal relief. See Mayer v. Mylod,988 F.2d 635, 638 (6th Cir. 1993). This requires a consideration of and a ruling upon the merits of a claim. In determining whether dismissal is warranted under Rule 12(b)(6), the complaint must be construed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and its allegations taken as true. Miller v. ...


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