United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S
MOTION TO DISMISS AND TO COMPEL ARBITRATION
GEIGER LEWIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a diversity action. Plaintiff Daniel Patterson brings a state
claim of wrongful termination in violation of public policy
against Defendant Asbury S.C. Lex, L.L.C. The Court has
jurisdiction over the matter under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss and
compel arbitration, or in the alternative, its motion to stay
and compel arbitration (collectively, motion). Having
considered Defendant's motion, Plaintiff's response,
and Defendant's reply, the Court will grant the motion to
dismiss and compel arbitration.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
commenced working with Defendant in December 2012. Defendant
terminated Plaintiff's employment on December 22, 2015.
Plaintiff signed an “Arbitration Agreement, ”
(agreement) dated December 2, 2010, setting forth, in
relevant part, the following:
This Agreement between [Plaintiff] and [Defendant] is
intended to provide the exclusive means of resolving all
Disputes, as defined below, which may arise between them. In
consideration for their mutual promises, both parties, by
entering into this Agreement, give up their right to trial by
court or by jury. This Agreement is not a contract of
employment but arises out of the individual's employment
or prospective employment that involves interstate commerce.
This Agreement is to be enforced under the Federal
Arbitration Act (“FAA”). In the event . . . it is
determined . . . the FAA does not apply, then this Agreement
shall be enforced under the appropriate state arbitration
2. DISPUTES SUBJECT TO ARBITRATION: a) Disputes subject to
arbitration are all Disputes between the parties which may
otherwise be brought in a court or before a governmental
agency, whether or not arising out of or related to the
Individual's application for employment, employment, or
termination of employment with the Company, and whether or
not arising before, during or after any employment
relationship between the parties. Also subject to arbitration
are disputes involving any person or entity whose liability
or right of recovery derives from a Dispute that is covered
by this Agreement (e.g., partner, agent, subsidiary or parent
corporation, affiliate, shareholder, successor or assign of a
(b) Such Disputes include, but are not limited to, claims of
refusal to hire, wrongful termination, breach of contract,
defamation, assault, battery, violation of public policy,
negligent retention, negligent supervision, negligent
entrustment, invasion of privacy, retaliation, wrongful
imprisonment, infliction of emotional distress, any other
tort, contract, equitable, statutory, or constitutional
claim, breaches of any duty owed by an employee to an
employer, and claims against an employee, officer, director
or agent of the Company who has agreed to arbitrate a claim
which would directly or indirectly subject either party to
liability. Disputes also include any claims of discrimination
or harassment prohibited by applicable law, including
statutory and/or common law claims of discrimination or
harassment on the basis of age, race, national origin,
religion, disability, sex/gender, color or citizenship.
Further, Disputes include claims related to payment of wages
and compensation, polygraph examinations, layoffs due to
plant closings, health, retirement or pension benefits,
veterans' rights, obtaining or using credit reports, drug
testing, whistle blowing activity and leaves of absence.
Class actions and requests for declaratory relief are also
covered by this Agreement.
ECF No. 5-1 at 1.
filed this action in the Greenville County Court of Common
Pleas. In the complaint, Plaintiff makes a claim of wrongful
termination in violation of public policy. Defendant removed
the case to this Court and then, in lieu of filing an answer,
filed its motion to dismiss and compel arbitration. Plaintiff
filed a response to the motion, to which Defendant filed its
reply. The Court, having been fully briefed on the relevant
issues, is prepared to adjudicate Defendant's motion.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) provides a federal district
court with the authority to enforce an arbitration agreement
by compelling parties to arbitrate their dispute. 9 U.S.C.
§ 4 (“A party aggrieved by the alleged failure,
neglect, or refusal of another to arbitrate under a written
agreement for arbitrator refusal of another to arbitrate
under a written on may petition any United States district
court which, save for such agreement, would have jurisdiction
under Title 28 . . . for an order directing that such
arbitration proceed in the manner provided for in such
agreement.”). States are vested with the same
authority. See Moses H. Cone Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercury
Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 25 (1983). Section 2 of the
FAA applies to any “contract evidencing a transaction
involving commerce to settle by arbitration a controversy
thereafter arising out of such contract, ” and it
provides that the written agreements to arbitrate contained
in such contracts “shall be valid, ...