MIAMI -- The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida closed a case after granting a motion to compel arbitration over a contract dispute, following the Supreme Court precedent to “rigorously enforce arbitration agreements.”
The court order issued June 22 was written by Judge Beth Bloom, and declined to make a ruling on arbitration venue, noting that the contract signed by both parties designating arbitration in Delray Beach, Florida, is enforceable and all disputes will be decided by an arbitrator.
Caring On Demand LLC and Avior Sciences, LLC filed a motion for urgent review in their complaint to compel arbitration against Ventive LLC in Delray Beach over a dispute in the parties’ contract. The plaintiffs allege Ventive failed to respond to their written demands for arbitration after issues arose regarding the consulting and technical services Ventive was hired to do.
Ventive filed a motion to compel and stay arbitration in the Fourth Judicial District Court in Idaho, alleging the dispute should be arbitrated in Boise. Ventive filed a separate motion to dismiss, and the parties have “vehemently contested matters of venue,
Bloom stated that the Idaho court exercised its discretion to stay the proceedings until the pending motions in Florida were resolved. The Idaho court stated that the plaintiff’s Florida motion was filed first, and that Ventive had not provided enough evidence that “the plaintiffs’ filing of this action was done in bad faith, was anticipatory of defendant’s lawsuit, or presented an instance of forum shopping.”
Bloom dismissed Ventive’s motion to stay proceedings and allow the Idaho court to rule on the arbitration issue, stating, “A stay of these proceedings, especially when the Idaho action has been stayed for six weeks, would promote judicial inefficiency and would unnecessarily delay a judicial determination of the issues,” she wrote.
Bloom stated that the “sweeping language” of the agreement dictates that “any dispute whatsoever between the parties be arbitrated, regardless of whether the dispute is substantive or procedural.” She added that regardless of which section is in dispute and which arbitration court, the issues are arbitrable. The order stated that the court will not decide which venue is proper and directed the parties to present the issues regarding “venue, the indispensability of any parties, the applicability of Florida’s “door-closing” statute, or entitlement to attorney fees” to the arbitrator if they wish.
The plaintiffs’ motion to compel arbitration was granted, and Ventive’s motion to dismiss was denied as moot. The case was closed, directing the parties to submit their disputes to the arbitrator.
U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida case number 18-cv-80211-BLOOM/Reinhart