Giddings v. Media Lodge, Inc. et al
OPINION AND ORDER denying 45 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim and Staying Case. Signed by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange on 4/12/18. (JLS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF SOUTH DAKOTA
OPINION AND ORDER
DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS
AND STAYING CASE
MEDIA LODGE,INC., lA TECH,LLC,
ADAMS KEEGAN,INC., ADAMS KEEGANGA,LLC, and JEFF SIEGEL,
Plaintiff Caleb Giddings, a Senior Airman in the United States Air Force Reserves,
accepted a job as the director of sales for Media Lodge, Inc. (Media Lodge) in the spring of
2015. Shortly thereafter, Giddings left to serve active duty for five-plus months with the Air
Force. After returning from active duty, Giddings allegedly was demoted and then terminated
from Media Lodge without cause. Giddings sued Media Lodge, Media Lodge's Chief Executive
Officer Jeff Siegel, Media Lodge's majority owner LA Tech, LLC (LA Tech), Adams Keegan,
Inc., and Adams Keegan-GA, LLC alleging that they violated the Uniformed Services
Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). Doc. 41. Media Lodge,
Siegel, and lA Tech (collectively "Media Lodge Defendants") filed a motion arguing that the
Federal Arbitration Act and the arbitration clause in Giddings's employment agreement required
this Court to stay or dismiss Giddings's case and compel arbitration. Doc. 18. Adams Keegan,
Inc. and Adams Keegan-GA, LLC (collectively "Adams Keegan" or "Adams Keegan
Defendants"),then moved to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), arguing that
Giddings failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted as against the Adams Keegan
Defendants. Doc. 45. This Court granted the Media Lodge Defendants' motion to compel
arbitration under the arbitration clause, but stayed the case rather than dismissing it. Doc. 65.
For the reasons explained below, this Court now denies the Adams Keegan Defendants' motion
to dismiss and stays the claims against them.
Facts Relevant to Motion to Dismiss
Media Lodge is an electronic media marketing company whose content targets outdoor
enthusiasts interested in hunting, shooting, and fishing. Doc. 41 at ^ 3. At all times relevant to
the amended complaint. Media Lodge maintained a place of business in Sioux Falls, South
Dakota. Doc. 41 at ^4. Adams Keegan, Inc., a Termessee corporation, is a national human
resources and professional employer organization (PEG) that provides businesses with human
resources management services, including hiring and retention services. Doc. 41 at ^ 8. Adams
Keegan-GA is a Georgia company owned and operated by Adams Keegan, Inc. Doc. 41 at K 10.
It provides the same services as Adams Keegan, Inc. to clients in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Doc.
41 at f 10. According to Giddings, Media Lodge and Adams Keegan both qualify as his
employers under USBRRA. Doc. 41 at H8-9, 13. Giddings alleges that "all Media Lodge
employees were employed through Adams Keegan, including those working at its Sioux Falls,
South Dakota location;" that "Adams Keegan contracted to provide employees through a lease
agreement to Media Lodge, including but not limited to, providing payroll and human resources
services;" and that "Adams Keegan retains the authority to hire and fire employees, dictate work
rules including the employment handbook policies and procedures and to set the conditions of
employment for employees who work at Media Lodge." Doc. 41 at^8-9.
In early April 2015, Giddings signed an employment agreement with Media Lodge to
work as a director of sales. Doc. 21-1; Doc. 41 at f 17. Among other things, Giddings's
responsibilities as director of sales included selling advertising for Media Lodge's network of
websites. Doc. 41 at ^ 18. The employment agreement, which stated that it was between "Media
Lodge" and "Caleb Giddings," set forth Giddings's salary and benefits. Media Lodge's noncompete and confidentiality policies, and the circumstances under which Media Lodge could
terminate Giddings's employment. Doc. 21-1; The employment agreement did not mention
Adams Keegan. Doc. 21-1.
Giddings went on mandatory active duty with the United States Air Force from late April
2015 until September 30, 2015. Doc. 41 at ^ 21. Giddings alleges that when he returned to work
upon completing his service, he was assigned sales accounts with a poor likelihood of yielding
commissions rather than the high-performing sales accounts he had before going on military
leave. Doc. 41 at % 37, told that he would either have to accept a demotion to a lesser-paying
contract position or be "transitioned" out of the company. Doc. 41 at ^41, and eventually was
terminated. Doc. 41 at ^44. Although Giddings's allegations describing these actions focus on
Media Lodge and Siegel, he alleges that "Defendants" (a term that encompasses the Adams
Keegan Defendants, Media Lodge, LA Tech, and Siegel), "were involved in the decisions to
take" the actions. Doc. 41 at ^45. Giddings asserts that Defendants violated USERRA by
failing to properly reemploy him, demoting him without just cause, and terminating him without
just cause. Doc. 41 at ® 49-75. This Court held a hearing on the motions in this case in late
Standard of Review and Requests for Judicial Notice
On a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), courts must accept a plaintiffs factual
allegations as true and constme all inferences in the plaintiffs favor, but need not accept a
plaintiffs legal conclusions. Retro Television Network. Inc. v. Luken Commc'ns. LLC. 696
F.3d 766, 768-69 (8th Cir. 2012). To survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a
complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Although detailed factual allegations are unnecessary,
the plaintiff must plead enough facts to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face."
Ashcroft V. Iqbal. 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)(quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twomblv. 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007)). A claim is plausible on its face "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged," Iqbal. 556 U.S. at 678,"even if it strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of those facts
is improbable, and 'that a recovery is very remote and unlikely,'" Twomblv. 550 U.S. at 556
(quoting Scheuer v. Rhodes. 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974)). Still, "conclusory statements" and
"naked assertion[s] devoid of further factual enhancement" do not satisfy the plausibility,
standard. Iqbal. 556 U.S. at 678 (alteration in original)(citation and internal marks omitted).
When determining whether to grant a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court generally must ignore
materials outside the pleadings, but it may "consider matters incorporated by reference or
integral to the claim, items subject to judicial notice, matters of public record, orders, items
appearing in the record of the case, and exhibits attached to the complaint whose authenticity is
unquestioned . . . without converting the motion into one for summary judgment." Dittmer
Props.. L.P. V. FDIC. 708 F.3d 1011, 1021 (8th Cir. 2013) (internal marks omitted) (quoting
Miller v. Redwood Toxicologv Lab.. Inc.. 688 F.3d 928, 931 n.3 (8th Cir. 2012)). Both parties
requested in briefing that this Court take judicial notice of matters outside Giddings's amended
Giddings asks this Court to take judicial notice of his employee handbook, an order from
a Georgia state court in a case Media Lodge brought against GunUp, Inc.,' and portions of the
Rule 30(b)(6) deposition given by Susan Lokey, Media Lodge's Chief Financial Officer, in the
Georgia case. According to Giddings, these documents are evidence that Media Lodge and
Adams Keegan both qualify as his employers, under USERRA. The employee handbook
identifies "GunBroker.Com"^ as Giddings's employer. Doc. 48-1 at 6, but also includes a page
describing the "co-employment" relationship between GunBroker.Com and Adams Keegan, Inc.,
Doc. 48-1 at 1? Lokey testified in her Rule 30(b)(6) deposition that Adams Keegan was her
employer, that Media Lodge has no employees, and that Adams Keegan leased her and all of
'GunUp, Inc. was Giddings's prior employer. Giddings accepted his job with Media Lodge
when GunUp,Inc. merged with Media Lodge in the spring of 2015.
^According to Giddings's amended complaint, a press release from Media Lodge states that lA
Tech is the "parent company of Gunbroker.com." Doc. 41 at ^ 12.
^The page describing the "co-employment" relationship between GunBroker.com and Adams
Keegan, Inc.. states that "GunBroker.com is responsible for providing you with supervision and
direction in your daily work activities. Whenever there are questions about the goods or services
that your company provides, you should direct them to your GunBroker.com supervisor." Doc.
48-1 at 7. As to Adams Keegan, Inc., the handbook states:
Adams Keegan prepares your payroll, reports the payroll activity
to the appropriate state and federal agencies, provides human
resources services, and it administers your benefits and workers'
compensation plan. Adams Keegan will be your source for
answers to questions or concerns about Benefits, Payroll, Taxes,
Garnishments or Involuntary Deductions, Workers' Compensation,
and work-related issues as appropriate. Adams Keegan is your
"Payroll and Human Resources Department." On the other hand,
as stated above, you will have regular contact with GunBroker.com
during your regular work routine. GunBroker.com will provide
you with direction and supervision and maintain control of your
daily activities at your worksite.
Doc. 48 at 7-8.
Media Lodge's employees to Media Lodge."^ Doc. 49-1 at 3-6. The order Giddings seeks to
introduce concerned whether the Georgia state court had personal jurisdiction over GunUp, Inc.
Doc. 25-6. In concluding that personal jurisdiction was lacking, the Georgia state court relied on
Lokey's deposition to find that Media Lodge had no employees itself but rather leased its
employees from Adams Keegan. Doc. 25-6 at 3.
This Court deems it improper to take judicial notice of the employee handbook, the
Georgia state court order, or parts of Lokey's deposition when ruling on the motion to dismiss.
Although Giddings argues that judicial notice of the employee handbook is appropriate because
he referenced the handbook in paragraph nine of his amended complaint. Doc. 47 at 4 n.6, 10,
"[a] mere passing reference or even references ... to a document outside of the complaint does
not, on its own, incorporate the document into the complaint itself." Williams v. Time Warner
Inc., 440 F. App'x 7, 9 (2d Cir. 2011) (unpublished). Giddings's reference to the employee
handbook in paragraph nine of his amended complaint states that upon information and belief,
"Adams Keegan retains the authority to hire and fire employees, dictate work rules including the
employment handbook policies and procedures and to set the conditions of employment for
employees who work at Media Lodge." Doc. 41 at f 9. This passing reference is not sufficient
to incorporate the employee handbook into Giddings's amended complaint.^ Williams. 440 F.
App'x at 9. Nor is the employee handbook "embraced by the pleadings" as Giddings appears to
"^Although the transcript of Lokey's deposition is at least 107 pages long, this Court only has
access to the six pages of the transcript Giddings filed. It is thus unknown whether Lokey ever
changed or clarified her testimony about Adams Keegan.
^Paragraph seven of Giddings's amended complaint states that upon information and belief,"lA
Tech retains the authority to hire and fire employees, dictate work rules including the
employment handbook policies and procedures, and to set the conditions of employment for
employees who work at Media Lodge." Doc. 41 at f 7. Giddings does not cite to paragraph 7 in
support of his argument that the employment handbook is incorporated into his amended
complaint. Even if he had, two passing references to the employment handbook does not make
the emplojmient handbook part of his amended complaint. See Williams. 440 F. App'x at 9.
suggest in his brief. Doc. 47 at 10. After all, Giddings's amended complaint does not discuss
the contents of the employee handbook, and his USERRA claims are in no way based on the
handbook's terms. ^Ashanti v. City of Golden Vallev. 666 F.3d 1148, 1151 (8th Cir. 2012)
(explaining that documents embraced by the pleadings "include 'documents whose contents are
alleged in a complaint and whose authenticity no party questions, but which are not physically
attached to the pleading'"(quoting Kushner v. Beverly Enters.. Inc.. 317 F.3d 820, 831 (8th Cir.
2003))). Giddings's argument concerning the Georgia order and excerpts of Lokey's deposition
fares no better. He contends that judicial notice of these documents is appropriate because they
are "public filings." Doc. 47 at 2-3, 10,
Rule 201 of the Federal Rules of Evidence allows
courts to take judicial notice of "adjudicative facts" appearing in public documents, but only if
those facts are "not subject to reasonable dispute."® Fed. R. Evid. 201. Under this standard,
courts can take judicial notice of the existence of a public document, but cannot consider the
statements or findings contained therein for the truth of the matter asserted. Insulate SB. Inc. v.
Advanced Finishing Svs.. 797 F.3d 538, 543 n.4 (8th Cir. .2015) (declining, at the motion to
dismiss stage, to consider a summary judgment order and a deposition transcript as evidence that
the defendant engaged in wrongdoing); Kushner. 317 F.3d at 829-30 (declining to consider
government sentencing memorandum for the truth of the matters asserted therein when a
considering motion to dismiss). Lokey's testimony and the Georgia state court findings based on
®The "facts" Giddings asks this Court to notice—Lokey's testimony that Media Lodge leased all
of its employees from Adams Keegan and the Georgia state court's findings based on this
testimony—eonstimte "adjudicative facts" under Rule 201. See United States v. Gould. 536
F.2d 216, 219 (8th Cir. 1976) (defining adjudicative facts); see also Tn.sulate SB. Inc. v.
Advanced Finishing Svs.. 797 F.3d 538, 543 n.4 (8th Cir. 2015)(applying Rule 201 to a request
that the court take judicial notice of a summary judgment order and a deposition transcript that
the plaintiff offered to support the plausibility of its claims); Kushner. 317 F.3d at 829-30
(applying Rule 201 to a government sentencing memorandum that the plaintiff was trying to use
to show that the defendant had engaged in a company-wide scheme to defraud Medicare).
this testimony are subject to reasonable dispute; there is evidence that Media Lodge bad its own
employees, including Giddings himself, and that Adams Keegan was merely Media Lodge's
payroll processor and PEG. And while Giddings asserts that he is simply asking this Court to
take judicial notice of the existence of Lokey's testimony and the Georgia state court order, these
documents will benefit Giddings only if this Court considers the contents of the documents for
the truth of the matters asserted. Indeed, the arguments Giddings makes in his brief show that
taking Lokey's testimony and the court order as true is exactly what Giddings wants this Court to
Doc. 47 at 1-2 (asserting that the documents Giddings asks this court to take judicial
notice of "plainly show a dispute of material fact regarding the Adams Keegan Defendants'
status as a joint or co-employer with Media Lodge and lA Tech as it relates to Plamtiffs
claims"); Doc. 47 at 7 n.7 ("Given the presumed truth of Plaintiff's factual allegations regarding
the co-employer/joint employer relationship with Media Lodge and LA Tech, and the additional
evidence presented by the Handbook, the [Georgia state court order], and [Lokey's] testimony.
Plaintiff has adequately pled joint employer liability'against the Adams Keegan Defendants.").
Adams Keegan meanwhile asks this Court to take judicial notice of certain "facts"
contained in Media Lodge's motion to compel arbitration. Media Ix)dge's brief and Jeff Siegel's
declaration in support of this motion, Giddings's employment agreement, and the documents
Giddings submitted when opposing Media Lodge's motion, including Giddings's own
declaration. Doc. 52 at 22. Some of the allegations or statements in these documents support
that Media Lodge was Giddings's sole employer.
This Court will consider Giddings's
employment agreement because it is embraced by the pleadings; Giddings's amended complaint
concerns his employment relationship and lists the compensation he was promised under the
employment agreement. Doc. 41 at ][ 18, his claim that all defendants demoted him relies on the
alleged reduction of this promised compensation, Doc. 41 at
41^2,61, and the parties do not
question the authenticity of the employment agreement. Ashanti, 666 F.3d at 1151 (explaining
that documents embraced by the pleadings "include 'documents whose contents are alleged in a
complaint and whose authenticity no party questions, but which are not physically attached to the
pleading'" (quoting Kushner, 317 F.3d at 831)). Adams Keegan argues that this Court can
consider or take judicial notice of the other documents because the documents are "items
appearing in the record of the case." Dittmer Props.. 708 F.3d at 1021 (quoting Miller. 688 F.3d
at 931 n.3). But a court cannot consider or take judicial notice of statements in a document
simply because it has been filed in the case. 21B Kenneth W. Graham, Jr., Federal Practice and
Procedure Evid. § 5106.4 (2d ed.) ("It seems clear that a court cannot notice pleadings or
testimony as true simply because these statements are filed with the court."); see also
Stagemever v. Ctv. of Dawson. 192 F. Supp. 2d 998, 1002 n.2 (D. Neb. 2002) (declining to
consider affidavit filed by other defendants in a separate motion to dismiss). The other
documents Adams Keegan seeks to have judicially noticed are offered to "prove the tmth of the
matters within them and inferences to be drawn from them—matters which [Giddings] disputes."
Knshner. 317 F.3d at 832. This Court deems it improper to take judicial notice of the assertions
in these documents when considering a motion to dismiss,
Congress enacted USERRA to counteract employment discrimination based on military
service. Maxfield 'V. Cintas Corp. No. 2. 427 F.3d 544, 551 (8th Cir. 2005). To that end,
USERRA guarantees returning service members a right of reemployment to either the position
they would have been in had they not left for military service or a "position of like seniority,
status and pay, the duties of which the person is qualified to perform," 38 U.S.C. §
4313(a)(2)(A); 38 U.S.C. § 4312; prohibits discrimination as to any benefit of employment after
a service member is reemployed, 38 U.S.C. §4311, and prevents employers from firing without
cause returning service members within a certain number of days of their reemployment, 38
U.S.C. § 4316(c). Congress granted the Department of Labor (DOL) authority to promulgate
rules implementing USERRA. 38 U.S.C. § 4331.
Adams Keegan argues that Giddings's claims must be dismissed because he has failed to
plead sufficient facts to show that Adams Keegan qualifies as his employer under USERRA.
Giddings disagrees, arguing that his amended complaint sufficiently alleges that Adams Keegan
was his "joint employer" along with Media Lodge and LA Tech. Under USERRA, the term
"employer" means "any person, institution, organization, or other entity that pays salary or
wages for work performed or that has control over employment opportunities, mcluding-(i) a
person, institution, organization, or other entity to whom the employer has delegated the
performance of employment-related responsibilities." 38 U.S.C. § 4303(4)(A). The DOL has
issued a regulation explaining that an employee working in one job can have more than one
employer under USERRA:
Under USERRA, an employer includes not only the person or
entity that pays an employee's salary or wages, but also includes a
person or entity that has control over his or her employment
opportunities, including a person or entity to whom an employer
has delegated the performance of employment-related
responsibilities. For example, if the employee is a security guard
hired by a security company and he or she is assigned to a work
site, the employee may report both to the security company and to
the site owner. In such an instance, both employers share
responsibility for compliance with USERRA. If the security
company declines to assign the employee to a job because of a
uniformed service obligation (for example. National Guard duties),
then the security company could be in violation of the
reemployment requirements and the anti-discrimination provisions
of USERRA. Similarly, if the employer at the work site causes the
employee's removal from the job position because of his or her
unifonned service obligations, then the work site employer could
be in violation of the reemployment requirements and the anti
discrimination provisions of USERRA.
20 C.F.R. § 1002.37.
Here, Giddings alleges that "all Media Lodge employees were employed through Adams
Keegan, including those working at its Sioux Falls, South Dakota location," that "Adams Keegan
contracted to provide employees through a lease agreement to Media Lodge," and that "Adams
Keegan retains the authority to hire and fire employees, dictate work rules including the
employment handbook policies and procedures and to set the conditions of employment for
employees who work at Media Lodge." Doc. 41 at H 8-9. Giddings also alleges that
"Defendants," including Adams Keegan, were "involved in the decisions" to assign him the low-
performing sales accounts when he retumed to Media Lodge, to terminate him without cause,
and to demote him without cause. Doc. 41 at ^45. Giddings's allegations that Adams Keegan
was one of his employers are not overly detailed, but they go beyond the sort of conclusory
allegations courts can ignore on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion.
Several courts have found allegations similar to those in Giddings's amended complaint
against Adams Keegan to be sufficient at the motion to dismiss stage. In Mitchell v. HOV
Servs.. Inc.. No. lO-cv-00226-LTB, 2010 WL 2017720 (D. Colo. May 20, 2010), for instance,
the plaintiff sued two companies, HOV Services and Bay Area Credit Services, for violating
USERRA. The plaintiff alleged that HOV Services was the parent company of Bay Area Credit
Services, that he had been directed to report to executives of HOV Services when he retumed to
work, that "HOV/BACS" had notified him that his failure to accept relocation would result in
termination, and that "Defendants" had violated USERRA by terminating him. Id at *2. HOV
Services moved to dismiss, arguing that Bay Area Credit Services was plaintiffs employer and
that plaintiff's claims. were based on a mistaken belief that HOV Services was the parent
company of Bay Area Credit Services. li at *1. The district court denied the motion,
concluding that the plaintiffs allegations made it plausible that HOV Services had control over
the plaintiffs employment opportunities and therefore qualified as his employer under
USERRA. Id at *2. Similarly, the district court in Jones v. Wolf Camera. Inc.. No. 3:96-CV2578-D, 1997 WL 22678 (N.D. Tex. Jan. 10, 1997), held that the plaintiffs complaint had
sufficiently alleged that two individuals qualified as his employers under USERRA where the
plaintiff asserted that the individuals had absolute authority to hire and fire employees at the
company where he worked. Id at *2. Still another example is the decision in McDaniel v.
Lovola Universitv Medical Center. 317 F.R.D. 72(N.D. III. 2016), where the district court held
that a doetor's proposed amendment to add a health care system as a defendant in his USERRA
suit was not futile. Id at 78. Although certain affiliation agreements in the record suggested that
the health care system did not have any control over the plaintiff, the distriet eourt found that the
explanation in 20 C.F.R. § 1002.37 and USERRA's broad definition of employer allowed the
possibility that the health eare system was one of the doctor's employers. Id Taking the
allegations in Giddings's amended eomplaint as true and drawing all reasonable inferenees in
Giddings's favor, it is plausible that Adams Keegan falls within USERRA's broad definition of
Nothing in this Opinion and Order should be taken as suggesting, however, that Adams
Keegan in faet was Giddings's actual employer or involved in the claimed adverse employment
actions that Giddtngs experienced after returning to Media Lodge. Adams Keegan pointed to
material outside the pleadings that, if accurate, suggests that Adams Keegan was merely an
outside PEG for Media Lodge. Indeed, Media Lodge's attorney stated during the hearing that
Media Lodge did have its own employees and that Lokey's Rule 30(b)(6) testimony to the
contrary was mistaken. Giddings of course has had no opportunity to conduct discovery, and
this Court declines to convert the motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment.
The next question for this Court is whether to stay the case or whether to allow Giddings
some discovery from Adams Keegan so that Adams Keegan might bring, and Giddings might
have a fair chance to oppose, a motion for summary judgment that Adams Keegan is not
Giddings's employer as a matter of law under USERRA. A "district court has discretion to stay
'third party litigation [that] involves common questions of fact that are within the scope of [a
related party's] arbitration agreement.'" AgGrow Oils. LLC v. Nat'l Union Fire Tns. Co. of
Pittsburgh. 242 F.3d 777, 782 (8th Cir. 2001)(first alteration in original) (quoting Contracting
Nw.. Inc. V. Citv of Fredericksburg. 713 F.2d 382, 387 (8th Cir. 1983)); see also Moses H. Cone
Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercurv Constr. Corp.. 460 U.S. 1, 20 n.23 (1983)(explaining that a district
court may stay litigation among nonarbitrating parties pending the outcome of an arbitration "as
a matter of its discretion to control its docket"). When deciding whether to stay a case pending
arbitration, courts consider "(1)the risk of inconsistent rulings;(2)the extent to which the parties
will be bound by the arbiters' decision; and (3)the prejudice that may result from delays." Reid
V. Doe Run Res. Corp.. 701 F.3d 840, 845 (8th Cir. 2012). Giddings alleges that Media Lodge
and Adams Keegan were his joint employers and that both were involved in the decisions giving
rise to his USFRRA claims. Giddings's claims against Adams Keegan thus share common
questions of fact with his claims against the Media Lodge Defendants. Given this factual
overlap, there is not only a risk of duplicate discovery and inconsistent rulings, but also the
potential that Giddings could be bound by the arbitrator's findings if the arbitrator were to find in
favor of the Media Lodge Defendants that no USFRRA violation occurred. See Schoenfeld v.
U.S. Resort Memt.. Inc.. No. 05-4368-CV-C-NKL, 2007 WL 2908622, at *3(W.D. Mo. Oct. 4.
2007)(holding that collateral estoppel barred a plaintiff from suing a defendant on the same Title
VII claims the plaintiff had already arbitrated, and lost, against a co-defendant, even though the
defendant was not a party to the arbitration). Staying this case pending the arbitration will not
materially prejudice either party. If anything, allowing the arbitration to play out should give
Giddings a better idea of whether he has meritorious claims against Adams Keegan without
either side incurring discovery costs.
For the reasons stated above, it is hereby
ORDERED that the Adams Keegan Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, Doc. 45, is denied.
It is further
ORDERED that Giddings's claims against the Adams Keegan Defendants are stayed
pending arbitration of Giddings's claims against the Media Lodge Defendants.
DATED this 13**' day of April, 2018.
BY THE COURT:
ROBERTO A. LAN(
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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