Shackleford et al v. IberiaBank et al
ORDER granting in part and denying in part 38 Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and Compel Arbitration; directing parties to proceed with arbitration, as set out in the Agreement; dismissing with prejudice Counts I-III; dismissing Ms. Karen Mills; and directing the Clerk of the Court to administratively terminate this case, without prejudice to the right of the parties to reopen the case for good cause. This case will not be reopened unless an application to reopen is filed by one of the par ties within 30 days of the final disposition of the arbitration proceeding. If no motion is filed, this Order will be considered a dismissal with prejudice, without further order of the Court. This Court specifically retains jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement. Signed by Judge Billy Roy Wilson on 1/9/2018. (cmn)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
KELLY SHACKLEFORD and
IBERIABANK, ET AL.
Pending is Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and Compel Arbitration (Doc. No. 38).
Plaintiffs have responded and Defendants have replied.1 For the reasons set out below, the
Motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
Plaintiffs filed a qui tam action under the False Claims Act against Defendants on July 8,
2015. Plaintiff Kelly Shackleford, who was employed by Defendants, also asserted claims under
the Fair Labor Standards Act and Arkansas Minimum Wage Act, for wrongful termination, and
for violations of COBRA.2
In a December 28, 2017 letter, I asked, “Assume I find that the arbitration agreement is
enforceable against Ms. Shackleford. Why would requiring Ms. Shackleford to proceed with
arbitration affect Ms. Mills’s ability to proceed in this case?”3 In a joint response, the parties
informed me that Counts I-III of the complaint had been settled. Since Plaintiff Karen Mills was
Doc. Nos. 40, 42.
Doc. No. 2.
Doc. No. 43.
named only in these counts, she was no longer involved in the case.4 Accordingly, based on this
correspondence, Counts I-III are DISMISSED with prejudice based on the terms of the
settlement agreement and Ms. Karen Mills is DISMISSED.
Counts IV-VIII involve only Plaintiff Kelly Shackleford and all are based on her
employment with Defendants. However, on August 31, 2010, Plaintiff Shackleford signed an
Arbitration Agreement which, among other things, set out that she “underst[ood] that by signing
this Arbitration Agreement, the parties waive their right to trial by court or jury.”5 The
Arbitration Agreement covers the claims alleged in Counts IV-VIII of the Complaint.
Plaintiff Shackleford asserts that the Arbitration Agreement “is a stand-alone agreement
that is not valid or enforceable because (1) it lacks mutuality of obligations, and (2) it is not
supported by adequate consideration.”6 However, both parties agreed to arbitrate certain claims
and agreed to exclude certain claims from arbitration (assuming without deciding that mutuality
of obligation is even required under the Federal Arbitration Act). Additionally, Plaintiff’s
acceptance of the arbitration agreement terms “supplied consideration for [her] employment.”7
These same arguments have been rejected in cases involving similar arbitration agreements
Doc. No. 44.
Doc. No. 39-1.
Doc. No. 41.
Delock v. Securitas Sec. Servs. USA, Inc., No. 4:11-CV-520-DPM, 2012 WL 1066378, at
*3 (E.D. Ark. Mar. 29, 2012) (“when the guards kept working after receiving the new arbitration
agreement, they accepted it. And their acceptance supplied consideration for this new term of their
between employer and employees under the Federal Arbitration Act8 (I am not a warm friend of
the FAA, but it has been approved by the courts).
Based on the findings of fact and conclusions of law above, Defendant’s Motion to
Dismiss and Compel Arbitration (Doc. No. 38) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
The parties must proceed with arbitration, as set out in the Agreement.
The Clerk of the Court is directed to ADMINISTRATIVELY TERMINATE this case,
without prejudice to the right of the parties to reopen the case for good cause. However, this
case will not be reopened unless an application to reopen is filed by one of the parties within 30
days of the final disposition of the arbitration proceeding. If no motion is filed, this Order will
be considered a dismissal with prejudice, without further order of the Court.
As set out above, Counts I-III are DISMISSED with prejudice based on the terms of the
settlement agreement and Ms. Karen Mills is DISMISSED. This Court specifically retains
jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 9th day of January, 2018.
/s/ Billy Roy Wilson_______________
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Gobeyn v. Travelers Indem. Co., No. 1:09CV00034 JLH, 2009 WL 3148755, at *3 (E.D.
Ark. Sept. 24, 2009); Hughes v. Wet Seal Retail, Inc., No. 10-CV-05090, 2010 WL 4750216 (W.D.
Ark. Nov. 16, 2010); Barnard v. Townsquare Media, LLC, No. 12-CV-4110, 2013 WL 1755581,
at *2 (W.D. Ark. Apr. 24, 2013); and Harrod v. Ltd., No. 6:15-CV-06111, 2016 WL 4699710, at *3
(W.D. Ark. Aug. 16, 2016), report and recommendation adopted sub nom. Harrod v. Signet Jewelers
Ltd., No. 6:15-CV-6111, 2016 WL 4639175 (W.D. Ark. Sept. 6, 2016)
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