United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs Motion to Compel
Arbitration or, in the Alternative, to Retain Jurisdiction
over All Claims and Reconsider Motion for Temporary
Restraining Order ("Motion to Compel"; ECF No. 20).
7, 2017, this Court held a hearing on Plaintiff Kane
International Corporation's ("Kane") Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order (ECF No. 5). Defendant U.S.
Polymers-Accurez LLC's ("USPA") opposed the
Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and indicated to the
Court that it would participate swiftly and fully in an
arbitration. Thereafter, the Court denied the Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order, holding that it lacked
jurisdiction over Kane's request for injunctive relief
because its claims were subject to arbitration. (ECF No. 16).
Motion to Compel, Kane notes that, contrary to USPA's
position at the hearing on the Temporary Restraining Order,
USPA is now taking the position with the American Arbitration
Association ("AAA") that USPA does not consent to
arbitrate before the AAA. USPA claims that the AAA lacks
jurisdiction over the USPA and the parties' dispute. Kane
asks for the Court (1) to issue an order compelling USPA to
submit to the jurisdiction of the AAA for arbitration of the
parties' disputes, or (2) to find that the USPA has
waived its right to arbitration and retain jurisdiction over
the entire dispute between the parties in this Court and
grant Kane's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order. (ECF
No. 20 at 4-5).
filed a Response to Plaintiffs Motion to Compel Arbitration.
(ECF No. 27). USPA argues that the Motion to Compel should be
denied because (1) the Complaint does not state a cause of
action, preventing the Court from determining whether any
dispute exists and whether such dispute falls within the
scope of the arbitration provision; (2) if the Court is able
to determine what Kane alleges USPA did wrong, the conduct is
not prohibited by the Supply Agreement, such that no dispute
exists to arbitrate; and (3) if the Court believes a dispute
exists, the arbitration provision is unenforceable because
(a) the arbitration provision did not survive the Supply
Agreement and (b) the arbitration provision is vague and
Court grants the Motion to Compel Arbitration. The Supply
Agreement (ECF No. 29-1) provides, "Kane and USPA agree
... not to compete with each other for a period of three (3)
years after the termination of this agreement as agreed to in
the current mutual NDA dated November 19, 1997." The
Supply Agreement further states, "If Kane and USPA
should have a major disagreement that we can not [sic] work
out among ourselves, we both agree to settle said
disagreement in Arbitration, according to the laws of the
State of New York." (ECF No. 29-1). The Court holds that
the dispute regarding the noncompetition agreement
constitutes a "major disagreement" between the
parties that invokes the arbitration provision. (ECF No.
29-1). "A dispute must be submitted to arbitration if
there is a valid agreement to arbitrate and the dispute falls
within the scope of that agreement." Lyster v.
Ryan's Family Steak Houses, Inc., 239 F.3d 943, 945
(8th Cir. 2001) (quoting Telectronics Pacing Systems,
Inc. v. Guidant Corp., 143 F.3d 428, 433 (8th Cir.
1998)). USPA previously submitted to the Court that
Kane's Temporary Restraining Order was not subject to
review because the parties' agreement contains a valid
arbitration provision. USPA cannot now argue that it is not
subject to the arbitration provision and that Kane has no
remedy. The Court further holds that the pleading
deficiencies in the original Complaint have been corrected by
the First Amended Complaint.
the parties disagree regarding the scope of the arbitration
provision and their dispute, that disagreement is for the
arbitrator to resolve. "The FAA establishes that 'as
a matter of federal law, any doubts concerning the scope of
arbitrable issues should be resolved in favor of arbitration,
whether the problem at hand is the construction of the
contract language itself or an allegation of waiver, delay,
or a like defense to arbitrability.'"
Lyster, 239 F.3d at 945 (quoting Moses H. Cone
Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1,
24, 103 S.Ct. 927, 941, 74 L.Ed.2d 765 (1983).
any ambiguity regarding the appropriate forum for the
arbitration can be resolved by the Court. 9 U.S.C. §5
provides that if the agreement does not designate method of
naming or appointing the arbitrator, "then upon
application of either party to the controversy the court
shall designate and appoint an arbitrator or arbitrators or
umpire, as the case may require, who shall act under the said
agreement with the same force and effect as if he or they had
been specifically named there; and unless otherwise provided
in the agreement the arbitration shall be by a single
arbitrator." Therefore, the Court designates AAA as the
appropriate body for the arbitration between the parties.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion
to Compel Arbitration or, in the Alternative, to Retain
Jurisdiction over All Claims and Reconsider Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order (ECF No. 20) is
GRANTED in part, and the Court compels the
parties to participate in arbitration per their agreement.
See ECF No. 29-1. The Court will not reconsider the
Motion for Temporary Restraining Order. The ...