United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
NAVEGAR NETWORK ALLIANCE, LLC, ET AL.
SUTTER EAST BAY HOSPITALS & QUEST DIAGNOSTICS CLINICAL LABORATORIES, INC.
ORDER AND REASONS
ZAINEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
following motions are before the Court: Motion to
Compel Arbitration and/or Stay (Rec. Doc. 18) filed
by defendant Sutter East Bay Hospitals; Motion to
Stay Claims Pending Arbitration (Rec. Doc. 22) filed
by defendant Quest Diagnostics Clinical Laboratories, Inc.
Plaintiffs Navegar Network Alliance, LLC f/k/a Navigant
Network Alliance, LLC, and UNO Health International, Inc.
oppose the motions. The motions, submitted on July 26, 2017,
are before the Court on the briefs without oral argument. For
the reasons that follow, the motions are GRANTED.
dispute arises out of an August 2016 contract (Laboratory
Services Agreement) between Navigant Network Alliance, LLC
(n/k/a Navegar Network Alliance, LLC) and Sutter East Bay
Hospitals. (Rec. Doc. 1-1 Exhibit A). Under the terms of the
Agreement, Navigant was to direct medical patient specimens
from its Referral Sources (medical providers with whom
Navigant had cultivated a relationship) to Sutter for
laboratory testing. When confirmatory testing was required,
Navigant made arrangements with a reference lab. In January
2017, Navigant contracted with Poydras Healthcare Advisors,
LLC (“PHA”), which had relationships with
reference labs. (Rec. Doc. 1-1 Exhibit B). Plaintiff UNO
Health International, Inc. maintains a network of medical
testing laboratories. PHA allegedly assigned its payment
rights under the Navigant/PHA contract to UNO. (Petition at 5
Agreement between Navigant and Sutter was for a two year term
unless terminated earlier. The Agreement contained express
termination provisions such that either party could terminate
the Agreement immediately for cause, or with at least ninety
(90) days prior written notice if without cause. (Rec. Doc.
1-1 Exhibit A at 2 ¶ 3).
to Sutter, it began to experience mounting problems with
Navigant's management and billing methods. On May 3 (or
17th), 2017, Sutter terminated the Agreement but
expressly did so without cause. Sutter informed the medical
providers (from Navigant's Referral Sources) to send
their specimens to Quest Diagnostics Clinical Laboratories.
Quest is a competitor with whom Navigant had no business
dealings related to the Agreement.
and UNO filed suit against Sutter in state court on June 26,
2017. Plaintiffs also joined Quest as a defendant. Shortly
after filing suit, Plaintiffs persuaded a state court judge
to issue a broad TRO against Defendants. Defendants
removed the case to this Court and the TRO expired by its own
terms 10 days after it was issued. (Rec. Doc. 64-Court's
Order denying as moot motions to dissolve the TRO).
now moves to compel Plaintiffs to arbitrate their claims as
required by the Agreement. Quest moves to stay the claims
asserted against it pending the arbitration between
Plaintiffs and Sutter.
and Navigant were the only two parties to the Laboratory
Services Agreement. The Agreement expressly states that
California law governs. (Rec. Doc. 1-1 Exhibit A ¶ 9.4).
The Agreement has a section entitled Dispute Resolution,
Any dispute arising out of or in connection with
this Agreement, including any questions regarding its
existence, interpretation, validity or
, will be referred to and definitely
resolved by binding arbitration pursuant to the California
Code of Civil Procedure Section 1280, et seq., and the
arbitration will be administered in accordance with the
Streamlined Rules of Judicial Arbitration and Mediation
Service (JAMS) rules applicable to commercial arbitrations.
The place of arbitration will be Alameda County, California.
The judgment of the arbitration tribunal will be accompanied
by a written statement of the basis for such ...