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Lacy v. Rent A Center

United States District Court, D. Kansas

August 8, 2014

Hanh Lacy, Plaintiff,
v.
Rent a Center; and Furniture Factory Outlet, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

JOHN W. LUNGSTRUMP, District Judge.

Plaintiff Hanh Lacy filed suit against defendants alleging that both entities were her joint employers and that both entities were liable for racial harassment, sexual harassment and retaliation under federal law and for intentional infliction of emotional distress under Kansas common law. Defendant Rent-A-Center has moved to dismiss or stay the case and to compel arbitration on the grounds that plaintiff's complaint was filed in contravention of the terms of a valid and enforceable mutual agreement to arbitrate claims signed by plaintiff. Plaintiff does not dispute that her claims against Rent-A-Center are subject to arbitration.

Defendant Furniture Factory Outlet subsequently filed a motion to dismiss or stay the case and to compel arbitration on the grounds that plaintiff's claims against Furniture Factory Outlet are substantially intertwined and closely related to her claims against Rent-A-Center such that arbitration of plaintiff's claims against Furniture Factory Outlet is also appropriate. See In re Universal Serv. Fund Tel. Billing Practices Lit., 300 F.Supp.2d 1107, 1139 (D. Kan. 2003) (court may compel arbitration when signatory to contract containing arbitration clause alleges substantially interdependent and concerted misconduct by both the nonsignatory and one or more of the signatories to the contract). In response, plaintiff does not oppose proceeding to arbitration on her claims against Factory Furniture Outlet so long as that arbitration is consolidated with the arbitration of her claims against Rent-A-Center in a single arbitration.

Rent-A-Center has not responded to Factory Furniture Outlet's motion to compel arbitration and has not objected to or otherwise opposed a consolidated arbitration.[1] Therefore, the court will grant both motions to compel arbitration as unopposed and, in the absence of any objection by the parties, will direct the parties to proceed to arbitration of plaintiff's claims in a single arbitration.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE COURT THAT defendant Rent-A-Center's motion to compel arbitration (doc. 4) is granted as unopposed and defendant Factory Furniture Outlet's motion to compel arbitration (doc. 19) is granted as unopposed. The parties are directed to proceed to consolidated arbitration of plaintiff's claims. The court will stay the judicial proceedings in this case pending completion of the arbitration process. Counsel for the parties are directed to report to the court in writing no later than Monday, February 9, 2015 concerning the status of that arbitration in the event that it has not been terminated earlier. Failure to so report will lead to dismissal of this case for lack of prosecution.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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