United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MARY J. MCCOY PLAINTIFF
CAMBRIDGE FRANCHISE HOLDINGS, LLC; and NASHVILLE QUALITY, LLC DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
N. Stivers, Chief United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Compel Arbitration and Dismiss or, Alternatively, to Stay
Action Pending Arbitration (DN 10). The motion is ripe for
adjudication. For the reasons provided below, the motion is
Mary J. McCoy (“Plaintiff”) originally filed this
action in Jefferson Circuit Court alleging Defendants
Cambridge Franchise Holdings, LLC and Nashville Quality, LLC
(collectively “Defendants”) violated Kentucky and
federal law with respect to their employment practices at the
Burger King restaurant where she formerly worked. (Comp.
¶ 1, DN 1-1). In the present motion, Defendants move to
either dismiss this action or to stay its resolution pending
arbitration based on an arbitration agreement
(“Agreement”) which Defendants contend Plaintiff
signed electronically. (Defs.' Mot. Compel Arbitration 1,
DN 10; Defs.' Mem. Supp. Mot. Compel Arbitration 1, DN 11
[hereinafter Defs.' Mem.]). The Agreement provides, in
Any controversy, dispute or claim arising out of or relating
to your employment with the Company, any employment agreement
or contract between you and the conditions and terms of your
employment with the Company, the termination of your
employment with the Company, all events related thereto, this
Agreement, and any other controversy, dispute or claim
between you and the Company, its parent entities,
subsidiaries and affiliates (and its and their current and
former members, partners, officers, directors, employees and
agents, whether acting in their individual capacity or their
capacity on behalf of the Company or its parent entities,
subsidiaries and affiliates), shall be settled by final and
binding arbitration administered by the American Arbitration
Association . . . in accordance with its Employment
Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures . . . that are in
effect at the time the mediation commences.
(Defs.' Mem. Supp. Mot. Compel Arbitration Ex. A, at 1,
DN 11-1 [hereinafter Arbitration Agreement]). Defendants
contend “Plaintiff's agreement and assent to this
document is demonstrated on the bottom of each page, where it
reads that the document was ‘Digitally signed by Mary
McCoy on 6/18/2018 2:11PM.'” (Def.'s Mem. 2).
support of her response, Plaintiff submits her affidavit
asserting that, “never, at any time during [her]
employment with the Defendants, [did she]
sign-electronically, digitally, or otherwise-any
arbitration agreement . . . .” (Pl.'s Resp.
Defs.' Mot. Compel Arbitration Ex. A. ¶ 3, DN 15-1).
Defendants contend this allegation is immaterial, however,
“because arbitration agreements need not even be signed
to be enforceable.” (Defs.' Reply Mot. Compel
Arbitration 3, DN 16).
Court has jurisdiction based on federal question
jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
ruling on a motion to compel arbitration, courts apply the
summary judgment standard in Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). See
Arnold v. Rent-a-Center, Inc., No. 11-18-JBC, 2011 WL
1810145, at *2 (E.D. Ky. May 12, 2011) (“This court
will treat the motion to compel arbitration as one for
summary judgment . . . .”); Weddle Enters., Inc. v.
Treviicos-Soletanche, J.V., No. 1:14CV-00061-JHM, 2014
WL 5242904, at *2 (W.D. Ky. Oct. 15, 2014) (“A motion
to dismiss based on the existence of a valid arbitration
agreement is not evaluated under the usual Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6) standard. Instead, courts apply the standard
applicable to motions for summary judgment.” (citations
omitted)). “In order to show that the validity of the
agreement is in issue, the party opposing arbitration must
show a genuine issue of material fact as to the validity of
the agreement to arbitrate, a showing that mirrors the
summary judgment standard.” Great Earth Cos. v.
Simons, 288 F.3d 878, 889 (6th Cir. 2002) (internal
quotation marks omitted).
the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), 9 U.S.C.
§§ 1-16, a written agreement to arbitrate involving
a dispute arising out of a contract involving interstate
commerce “shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable,
save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the
revocation of any contract.” Stout v. J.D.
Byrider, 228 F.3d 709, 714 (6th Cir. 2000) (quoting 9
U.S.C. § 2).
When considering a motion to stay proceedings and compel
arbitration under the Act, a court has four tasks: first, it
must determine whether the parties agreed to arbitrate;
second, it must determine the scope of that agreement; third,
if federal statutory claims are asserted, it must consider
whether Congress intended those claims to be nonarbitrable;
and fourth, if the court concludes that some, but not all, of
the claims in the action are ...