United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. Hale, Judge United States District Court
Coppedge sued various GGNSC entities and affiliates in
Jefferson Circuit Court on behalf of her mother-in-law Amanda
Coppedge, who was a resident of Golden LivingCenter -
Camelot, a skilled nursing facility located in Louisville,
Kentucky, and operated by GGNSC.(See D.N. 1-2) Coppedge
alleges that GGNSC violated Amanda's rights as a
nursing-home resident under Kentucky law and negligently
injured her, ultimately resulting in her wrongful death.
(Id., PageID # 27-36, 42-43) Coppedge also sued two
Golden LivingCenter administrators, asserting similar claims.
(Id., PageID # 38-43)
filed this action pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act,
seeking to compel arbitration of Coppedge's claims and
enjoin her from pursuing the state-court action. (D.N. 1)
GGNSC has moved to compel arbitration. (D.N. 5) Coppedge
moves to dismiss on various grounds. (D.N. 6) For the reasons
set forth below, the Court will deny Coppedge's motion to
dismiss and grant GGNSC's motion to compel arbitration,
excluding Coppedge's wrongful-death claim. Coppedge will
accordingly be enjoined from continuing the state-court
action on all but the wrongful-death claim.
November 2013, Golden LivingCenter - Camelot admitted Amanda
Coppedge as a resident. (D.N. 1-2, PageID # 19) As part of
the admissions process, Joyce Coppedge, allegedly acting
lawfully as Amanda's attorney-in-fact, executed an
arbitration agreement. (See D.N. 1-1)
Agreement requires the parties to arbitrate
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.
(Id., PageID # 12) The Agreement bound Amanda and
her legal representatives. (Id., PageID # 11)
Coppedge asserts various claims of negligence against GGNSC
in the state-court action on Amanda's behalf. (See D.N.
1-2) According to the state-court complaint, GGNSC failed to
discharge its obligations of care to Amanda Coppedge, and in
so failing, caused Amanda to suffer injuries, which allegedly
resulted in her wrongful death. (See id.).
case, GGNSC seeks to compel arbitration of Coppedge'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 # 5) Coppedge argues that diversity is lacking
and that dismissal is warranted on various other legal and
equitable grounds. (See D.N. 6-2)
Motion to Dismiss
According to Coppedge, the present action should be dismissed
(i) for GGNSC's failure to join an indispensable party;
(ii) on the basis of Colorado River abstention;
(iii) because the Federal Arbitration Act does not apply;
(iv) because she did not have the requisite authority to sign
the ADR Agreement on Amanda's behalf; (v) because the ADR
Agreement is unconscionable; (vi) because of the
Anti-Injunction Act; (vii) and because the wrongful-death
claim is not subject to the ADR Agreement. (See D.N. 6-2)
This Court has previously found that wrongful-death claims
are not barred by arbitration agreements between decedents
and nursing homes, see Brandenburg Health Facilities, LP
v. Mattingly, No. 3:15-cv-833-DJH, 2016 WL 3448733, at
*6 (W.D. Ky. June 20, 2016), and the same reasoning applies
here. However, the Court has addressed-and
rejected-Coppedge's remaining arguments in numerous
recent cases. See, e.g., GGNSC Louisville St. Matthews v.
Grevious, No. 3:16-cv-829-DJH, 2017 WL 3623805 (W.D. Ky.
Aug. 23, 2017); Mattingly, 2016 WL 3448733;
GGNSC Louisville Mt. Holly, LLC v. Mohamed-Vall, No.
3:16-cv-136-DJH, 2016 WL 9024811 (W.D. Ky. Apr. 6, 2016);
GGNSC Louisville Hillcreek, LLC v. Watkins, No.
3:15-cv-902-DJH, 2016 WL 815295 (W.D. Ky. Feb. 29, 2016).
Coppedge is represented by the same counsel that represented
defendants in those cases, and her lawyers have submitted
briefs in this litigation containing legal arguments
practically identical to those the Court considered and
rejected in previous cases. The Court's discussion of the
pending motions will accordingly be brief. Consistent with
its prior rulings, the Court will deny Coppedge's motion
and compel her to arbitrate all but the wrongful-death claim.
first argues that this court lacks jurisdiction because
indispensable nondiverse parties (i.e., Golden LivingCenter
administrators Clifton Lake and Kathy Dearing) were not
joined. (D.N. 6-2, PageID # 123-36) Contrary to
Coppedge's assertion, 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.” Grevious,
2017 WL 3623805, at *2; see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 19(a);
PaineWebber, Inc. v. Cohen, 276 F.3d 197 (6th Cir.
2001) (finding that an investment brokerage firm's branch
manager was not an indispensable party to a federal action to
reliance on Cytec Industries, Inc. v. Powell, 630
F.Supp.2d 680 (N.D. W.Va. 2009), does not change this
conclusion. As the Eastern District of Kentucky previously
observed, “Cytec has no precedential effect on this
Court [and] the conclusion reached in Cytec directly
contradicts the holdings of many courts in this District and
beyond that nursing home administrators who are named as
defendants in parallel state court actions are not
indispensable parties to [a federal action to compel
arbitration].” GGNSC Frankfort, LLC v. Tracy,
No. 14-30-GFVT, 2015 WL 1481149, at *6 (E.D. Ky. Mar. 31,
2015). Thus, ...