Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Nelson v. H20 Hair, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

May 22, 2019

CHRISTINA NELSON
v.
H20 HAIR, INC., MICHAEL JOHN GASPARD AND HOLLI M. GASPARD

          ON APPLICATION FOR SUPERVISORY REVIEW FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 779-340, DIVISION "F" HONORABLE MICHAEL P. MENTZ, JUDGE PRESIDING

          COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT, CHRISTINA NELSON Lawrence J. Centola, III Christopher H. Carbine, Jason Z. Landry

          COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RELATOR, H20 HAIR, INC., MICHAEL JOHN GASPARD AND HOLLI M. GASPARD Ellis B. Murov Frederic T. LeClercq Andrew J. Baer

          Panel composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Robert A. Chaisson, and John J. Molaison, Jr.

          SUSAN M. CHEHARDY CHIEF JUDGE

         In this writ application, relators, H2O, Inc., Michael John Gaspard, and Holli Gaspard, seek review of the district court's denial of their Motion to Stay and/or for Protective Order. For the following reasons, we grant this writ application, reverse the trial court's ruling, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this disposition.

         Factual and Procedural History

         Christina Nelson worked for H2O as a cosmetologist. As a requirement of her employment with the company, Nelson executed, among other agreements, [1] an arbitration agreement, which permits either party to initiate arbitration for any "employment related dispute," which is defined to include "a claim under federal, state, loca[l] statute, regulation, or common law doctrine regarding or relating to employment discrimination, terms and conditions of employment, or termination of employment ..."

         In January 19, 2018, Nelson instituted this action against the company and the Gaspards (hereinafter "the H2O defendants"), asserting claims that arise out of allegedly improper payroll and wage deductions during her employment with the company. On March 19, 2018, the H2O defendants filed their reconventional demand seeking damages for Nelson's alleged breach of her non-competition agreement.

         On December 11, 2018, the H2O defendants filed a "Motion to Stay and/or for Protective Order" pursuant to La. R.S. 9:4202, seeking to stay the proceedings and to amend their Answer to assert the defense of arbitration. On March 27, 2019, after extensive briefing and memoranda, the trial judge heard and denied the motion, finding that the H2O defendants had waived their right to arbitration. The H2O defendants seek review of that ruling.

         Discussion

         This issue is controlled by La. R.S. 9:4201-4217, "The Louisiana Binding Arbitration Law." Here, this suit was filed prior to the invocation of the arbitration clause so La. R.S. 9:4202 applies:

If any suit or proceedings be brought upon any issue referable to arbitration under an agreement in writing for arbitration, the court in which suit is pending, upon being satisfied that the issue involved in the suit or proceedings is referable to arbitration under such an agreement, shall on application of one of the parties stay the trial of the action until an arbitration has been had in accordance with the terms of the agreement, providing the applicant for the stay is not in default in proceeding with the arbitration.

         According to the plain language of the statute, the trial court "shall" stay the trial of the action until arbitration is had unless the applicant is in ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.