This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 05/08/2022 at 02:58:08 (UTC).

PETER SHEIDAYI, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS HEIR OF AND SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST TO POURAN SHEIDAYI, DECEASED, ET AL. VS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE, LLC, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 03/18/2021 PETER SHEIDAYI, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS HEIR OF AND SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST TO POURAN SHEIDAYI, DECEASED filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE, LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are DANIEL M. CROWLEY and JILL FEENEY. The case status is Other.
Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******0608

  • Filing Date:

    03/18/2021

  • Case Status:

    Other

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

DANIEL M. CROWLEY

JILL FEENEY

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

SHEIDAYI PETER INDIVIDUALLY AND AS HEIR OF AND SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST TO POURAN SHEIDAYI DECEASED

SHEIDAYI POURAN DECEASED

SHEIDAYI PERRY INDIVIDUALLY AND AS HEIR OF AND SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST TO POURAN SHEIDAYI DECEASED

Defendants

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE LLC DBA KINDRED HOSPITAL LA MIRADA

KINDRED HEALTHCARE OPERATING INC.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

YEROUSHALMI BENYAHOU

YEROUSHALMI BENYAHOU ESQ.

Defendant Attorneys

WANG CADMUS B

GIOVANNIELLO ALEXANDER FERNANDO ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Request for Refund / Order

6/14/2021: Request for Refund / Order

Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

6/25/2021: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees

Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING NOTICE OF LODGMENT OF EXHIBITS IN SUPPORT OF PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE, LLC DBA KINDRED

9/21/2021: Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING NOTICE OF LODGMENT OF EXHIBITS IN SUPPORT OF PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE, LLC DBA KINDRED

Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING NOTICE OF LODGMENT OF AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE, LLC DBA KINDR

9/21/2021: Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING NOTICE OF LODGMENT OF AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE, LLC DBA KINDR

Petition - PETITION NOTICE OF PETITION AND PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE, LLC DBA KINDRED HOSPITAL LA MIRADA AND KINDRED HEALTHCAR

9/21/2021: Petition - PETITION NOTICE OF PETITION AND PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE, LLC DBA KINDRED HOSPITAL LA MIRADA AND KINDRED HEALTHCAR

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF CADMUS B. WANG IN SUPPORT OF PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE, LLC DBA KINDRED HOSPITAL LA M

9/21/2021: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF CADMUS B. WANG IN SUPPORT OF PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE, LLC DBA KINDRED HOSPITAL LA M

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF BETTY HILDEBRAND IN SUPPORT OF PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE, LLC DBA KINDRED HOSPITAL LA

9/21/2021: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF BETTY HILDEBRAND IN SUPPORT OF PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE, LLC DBA KINDRED HOSPITAL LA

Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S PETITION TO COMPEL BINDING ARBITRATION AND REQUEST FOR STAY

10/1/2021: Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S PETITION TO COMPEL BINDING ARBITRATION AND REQUEST FOR STAY

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF BEN YEROUSHALMI

10/1/2021: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF BEN YEROUSHALMI

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF PERRY SHEIDAYI

10/1/2021: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF PERRY SHEIDAYI

Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING NOTICE OF LODGMENT OF EXHIBITS IN SUPPORT OF THE REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS

10/12/2021: Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING NOTICE OF LODGMENT OF EXHIBITS IN SUPPORT OF THE REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS

Reply - REPLY NOTICE OF REPLY AND REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE, LLC DBA KINDRED HOSPITAL LA MI

10/12/2021: Reply - REPLY NOTICE OF REPLY AND REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE, LLC DBA KINDRED HOSPITAL LA MI

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF DAVID KOWALSKI IN SUPPORT OF THE REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS

10/12/2021: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF DAVID KOWALSKI IN SUPPORT OF THE REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF MARCEIL TAYLOR IN SUPPORT OF THE REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS

10/12/2021: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION OF MARCEIL TAYLOR IN SUPPORT OF THE REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS

Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING NOTICE OF LODGMENT OF EXHIBITS IN SUPPORT OF THE REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS

10/12/2021: Notice of Lodging - NOTICE OF LODGING NOTICE OF LODGMENT OF EXHIBITS IN SUPPORT OF THE REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY BY DEFENDANTS

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER CONTINUING THE OCTOBER 19, 2021 HEARING ON MOTION...)

10/18/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER CONTINUING THE OCTOBER 19, 2021 HEARING ON MOTION...)

Clerks Certificate of Service By Electronic Service

10/18/2021: Clerks Certificate of Service By Electronic Service

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY O...)

10/21/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND MOTION FOR STAY O...)

21 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/25/2022
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 30, Jill Feeney, Presiding; Post-Arbitration Status Conference - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 02/03/2022
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Peter Sheidayi, Individually and as Heir of And Successor in Interest to Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plaintiff); Perry Sheidayi, Individually and as Heir of and Successor in Interest to Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plaintiff); Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plai

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  • 10/27/2021
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by Southern California Specialty Care, LLC (Defendant); KINDRED HEALTHCARE OPERATING, LLC Erroneously Sued As Kindred Healthcare Operating, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 10/21/2021
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 30, Jill Feeney, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Arbitration (and Motion for Stay of Proceedings Filed by Defendants Southern California Specialty Care, LLC dba Kindred Hospital La Mirada and Kindred Healthcare Operating, LLC) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 10/21/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Compel Arbitration and Motion for Stay o...)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/19/2021
  • Docketat 1:30 PM in Department 30, Jill Feeney, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Arbitration (and Motion for Stay of Proceedings Filed by Defendants Southern California Specialty Care, LLC dba Kindred Hospital La Mirada and Kindred Healthcare Operating, LLC) - Not Held - Continued - Court's Motion

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  • 10/18/2021
  • Docketat 08:14 AM in Department 30, Jill Feeney, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 10/18/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Court Order Continuing the October 19, 2021 Hearing on Motion...)); Filed by Clerk

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 10/18/2021
  • DocketClerks Certificate of Service By Electronic Service; Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/12/2021
  • DocketDeclaration (Declaration of Marceil Taylor in Support of the Reply to Plaintiffs' Opposition to Petition to Compel Arbitration and Motion for Stay by Defendants); Filed by Southern California Specialty Care, LLC (Defendant); KINDRED HEALTHCARE OPERATING, LLC Erroneously Sued As Kindred Healthcare Operating, Inc. (Defendant)

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18 More Docket Entries
  • 04/22/2021
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by Southern California Specialty Care, LLC (Defendant); KINDRED HEALTHCARE OPERATING, LLC Erroneously Sued As Kindred Healthcare Operating, Inc. (Defendant)

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  • 04/22/2021
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Peter Sheidayi, Individually and as Heir of And Successor in Interest to Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plaintiff); Perry Sheidayi, Individually and as Heir of and Successor in Interest to Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plaintiff); Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plai

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  • 04/07/2021
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Peter Sheidayi, Individually and as Heir of And Successor in Interest to Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plaintiff); Perry Sheidayi, Individually and as Heir of and Successor in Interest to Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plaintiff); Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plai

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  • 04/07/2021
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by Peter Sheidayi, Individually and as Heir of And Successor in Interest to Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plaintiff); Perry Sheidayi, Individually and as Heir of and Successor in Interest to Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plaintiff); Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plai

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  • 04/05/2021
  • DocketPI General Order; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/05/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ([PI General Order]); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/18/2021
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/18/2021
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Peter Sheidayi, Individually and as Heir of And Successor in Interest to Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plaintiff); Perry Sheidayi, Individually and as Heir of and Successor in Interest to Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plaintiff); Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plai

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  • 03/18/2021
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Peter Sheidayi, Individually and as Heir of And Successor in Interest to Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plaintiff); Perry Sheidayi, Individually and as Heir of and Successor in Interest to Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plaintiff); Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plai

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  • 03/18/2021
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Peter Sheidayi, Individually and as Heir of And Successor in Interest to Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plaintiff); Perry Sheidayi, Individually and as Heir of and Successor in Interest to Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plaintiff); Pouran Sheidayi, Deceased (Plai

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: *******0608 Hearing Date: October 19, 2021 Dept: 30

PETER SHEIDAYI, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS HEIR OF AND SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST TO POURAN SHEIDAYI, DECEASED, et al. vs SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SPECIALTY CARE, LLC, et al On the Court's own motion, the Hearing on Motion to Compel Arbitration and Motion for Stay of Proceedings Filed by Defendants Southern California Specialty Care, LLC dba Kindred Hospital La Mirada and Kindred Healthcare Operating, LLC scheduled for 10/19/2021 is continued to 10/21/2021 at 01:30 PM


Case Number: *******0608 Hearing Date: October 21, 2021 Dept: 30

Defendants’ petition to compel arbitration is GRANTED. Defendants’ motion for stay is GRANTED.

Background

This action arises out of the death of Pouran Sheidayi (“Decedent”).

On March 18, 2021, Plaintiffs Peter Sheidayi and Perry Sheidayi, individually and as heirs of and successors in interest to Decedent (“Plaintiffs”) filed a complaint against Defendants Southern California Specialty Care, LLC dba Kindred Hospital La Mirada Kindred Healthcare Operating, Inc. (“Defendants”) and Does 1-75 for the following causes of action: (1) elder abuse and neglect; (2) willful misconduct; (3) wrongful death; and (4) violation of patient’s rights. On April 22, 2021, Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their fourth cause of action.

On September 21, 2021, Defendants filed the instant petition to compel arbitration and motion for stay. On October 1, 2021, Plaintiffs filed their opposition. Thereafter, on October 12, 2021, Defendants filed their reply.

Legal Standard

“On petition of a party to an arbitration agreement alleging the existence of a written agreement to arbitrate a controversy and that a party thereto refuses to arbitrate a controversy, the court shall order the petitioner and the respondent to arbitrate the controversy if it determines that an agreement to arbitrate the controversy exists….” (Civ. Proc. Code ; 1281.2.) “The party seeking arbitration bears the burden of proving the existence of an arbitration agreement, and the party opposing arbitration bears the burden of proving any defense, such as unconscionability.” (Pinnacle Museum Tower Assn. v. Pinnacle Market Development (US), LLC (2012) 55 Cal.4th 223, 236.)

“California has a strong public policy in favor of arbitration and any doubts regarding the arbitrability of a dispute are resolved in favor of arbitration.” (Coast Plaza Doctors Hospital v. Blue Cross of California (2000) 83 Cal.App.4th 677, 686.) “This strong policy has resulted in the general rule that arbitration should be upheld unless it can be said with assurance that an arbitration clause is not susceptible to an interpretation covering the asserted dispute.” (Id. [internal quotations omitted].) This is in accord with the liberal federal policy favoring arbitration agreements under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), which governs all agreements to arbitrate in contracts “involving interstate commerce.” (9 U.S.C. ; 2, et seq.; Higgins v. Superior Court (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 1238, 1247.) “Thus, under both the FAA and California law, ‘arbitration agreements are valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.’” (Higgins v. Superior Court, supra, 140 Cal.App.4th at p. 1247, citing Armendariz v. Foundation Health Psychcare Services, Inc. (2000) 24 Cal.4th 83, 98.)

Discussion

FAA Preemption

Defendants argue that the FAA applies because the Alternative Dispute Resolution Agreement (“ADR Agreement”) was in writing and they are engaged in interstate commerce. (See 9 U.S.C. ; 1, et seq.).

The general rule is that the FAA governs all agreements to arbitrate in contracts “involving interstate commerce.” (Higgins v. Superior Court, supra, 140 Cal.App.4th at p. 1247.) The term “involving” commerce is broad and is the functional equivalent of “affecting” commerce. (Allied-Bruce Terminix Cos. v. Dobson (1995) 513 U.S. 265, 273–274.)

The application of the FAA means that state laws that attempt to undercut the enforceability of arbitration agreements and that interfere with the enforcement of arbitration agreements according to their terms are preempted. (Tompkins v. 23andMe, Inc. (9th Cir. 2016) 840 F.3d 1016, 1022.) The FAA contains a savings clause that “permits agreements to arbitrate to be invalidated by generally applicable contract defenses, such as fraud, duress, or unconscionability, but not by defenses that apply only to arbitration or that derive their meaning from the fact that an agreement to arbitrate is at issue.” (Id. [internal quotations omitted].)

Here, Defendants have submitted evidence indicating that Kindred La Mirada operates as a general acute care hospital and that it receives various goods, medical equipment, and supplies from places outside California in order to provide care to its patients. (Kowalski Decl. ¶ 2.) Furthermore, it receives reimbursement from Medicare and other out-of-state insurance companies in connection with care and treatment provided to its patients, including for the Decedent in this case. (Kowalski Decl. ¶ 3.) Therefore, there is substantial evidence showing that the ADR Agreement involves interstate commerce. (See Scott v. Yoho (2016) 248CalApp.4th 392, 401-402 (explaining the broad application of interstate commerce in case involving a medical practice; Wills v. Prime Healthcare Services (2014) 231 Cal.App.4th 615, 626(payments from Medicare constitute interstate commerce for purposes of the FAA.)

Accordingly, the Court finds that the FAA applies.

Existence of Arbitration Agreement

General principles of contract law determine whether the parties have entered a binding agreement to arbitrate. (Avery v. Integrated Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 50, 60; Chan v. Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc. (1986) 178 Cal.App.3d 632, 640–641.) This includes the principle that the basic goal of contract interpretation is to give effect to the parties’ mutual intent at the time of contract. (Mitri v. Arnel Management Co. (2007) 157 Cal.App.4th 1164, 1170, quotations and citations omitted.) Contract law also requires the parties agree to the same thing in the same sense. (Civ. Code, ;; 1550, 1565, 1580; Weddington Productions, Inc. v. Flick (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 793.)

Here, Defendants move to compel arbitration and have provided proof that Plaintiff Perry Sheidayi (“Perry”) signed an arbitration agreement along with many other intake forms on behalf of the Decedent on August 1, 2019. (Hildebrand Decl. ¶¶ 6-11, 13; Exhs. 1, 3-7.) Also, Defendants have provided proof that Decedent executed an Advance Health Care Directive, which appointed Plaintiff Perry as her agent for all healthcare decisions. (Hildebrand Decl. ¶ 12, Exh. 2.) Therefore, Defendants have met their burden of showing that an arbitration agreement exists between the parties.

Having determined that an agreement exists, the only questions that remains under these circumstances is whether the right to compel arbitration has been waived and whether there is ground for the rescission of the agreement. (Civ. Proc. Code ; 1281.2; Condee v. Longwood Management Corp. (2001) 88 Cal.App.4th 215, 219.) It is noted that Plaintiffs do not assert that Defendants waived their right to compel arbitration. Instead, Plaintiffs argue that Plaintiff Perry lacked the authority to sign the ADR Agreement on Decedent’s behalf. (Opposition at pg. 2.) Plaintiffs reason that the Advance Health Care Directive only applies in circumstances where Decedent is incapacitated, and Plaintiffs contend that Defendants have not shown that Decedent was incapacitated at the time of signing. However, based on the evidence presented, this argument is meritless.

Generally, the acts of an alleged agent alone are insufficient to show that an agency relationship exists, and specifically, courts have found that the act of signing an agreement by a family member is not enough to prove the creation of an agency relationship. (Pagarigan v. Libby Care Center, Inc. (2002) 99 Cal.App.4th 298; 301-302; Flores v. Evergreen at San Diego, LLC (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 581, 588.) Rather, an agency relationship “can be established either by agreement between the agent and the principal, that is, a true agency [citation], or it can be founded on ostensible authority, that is, some intentional conduct or neglect on the part of the alleged principal creating a belief in the minds of third persons that an agency exists, and a reasonable reliance thereon by such third persons.” Lovetro v. Steers (1965) 234 Cal.App.2d 461, 474-475.) Moreover, implied consent can be manifested from silence or inaction where the silent party had a duty to speak. (Wold v. League of Cross of Archdiocese of San Francisco (1931) 114 Cal.App. 474, 479.)

As provided in their motion, Defendants assert that Decedent lacked the ability to sign the admission documents when she was admitted to Kindred La Mirada on July 31, 2019. (Hildebrand Decl. ¶ 5.) Moreover, Defendants have provided proof that Decedent was unresponsive at the time Plaintiff Perry signed the ADR Agreement. (Taylor Decl. ¶¶ 4-6; Exhs. 11-13.) While Plaintiffs contend that the document titled “Anatomical Gift by a Living Donor” was signed by Decedent to evidence she had capacity, a comparison of the signatures on the other admission documents shows that the signatures belong to Plaintiff Perry. (Compare Exh. 4 with Exhs. 3, 5-7.) Thus, because Defendants have provided sufficient evidence to show that Decedent was incapacitated at the time Plaintiff Perry signed the ADR Agreement, Advance Health Care Directive was in effect. Furthermore, it has been routinely recognized that the signing of an arbitration agreement is a healthcare related decision. (Hutcheson v. Eskaton Fountain Wood Lodge (2017) 17 Cal.App.5th 937, 957; Garrison v. Superior Court (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 253, 266; Madden v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Inc. (1976) 17 Cal.3d 699, 709.) Therefore, Plaintiff Perry had the authority to sign the ADR Agreement on Decedent’s behalf.

Accordingly, because the Advance Health Care Directive was in effect due to Decedent’s incapacity and signing an arbitration agreement is a healthcare related decision, the Court finds that a valid arbitration agreement exists because Plaintiff Perry had authority to sign the ADR Agreement on Decedent’s behalf.

Unconscionability and Delegation Clause

An agreement is unenforceable if it is both procedurally and substantively unconscionable. (OTO, L.L.C. v. Kho (2019) 8 Cal.5th 111, 125; Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co., LLC (2015) 61 Cal.4th 899, 910.) But procedural and substantive unconscionability need not be present in the same degree. (OTO, supra, 8 Cal.5th at 125.) Courts use a “sliding scale” approach—“the more substantively unconscionable the contract term, the less evidence of procedural unconscionability is required to come to the conclusion that the term is unenforceable, and vice versa.” (Armendariz v. Found Health Psychcare Servs., Inc. (2000) 24 Cal.4th 83, 114.) Under general contract principles, unconscionability has both a procedural and substantive element, with the former focusing on oppression or surprise due to unequal bargaining power, and the latter focusing on overly harsh or one-sided rules (Armendariz, supra , 24 Cal.4th at p. 114.) Both procedural and substantive unconscionability must be present in order for a court to exercise its discretion to refuse to enforce a contract on the basis of unconscionability. (Stirlen v. Supercuts, Inc. (1997) 51 Cal.App.4th 1519, 1533.)

Here, the ADR Agreement expressly states that claims regarding its interpretation is also subject to arbitration. (Hildebrand Decl., Exh. 1.) Because a valid arbitration agreement exists, the parties are bound by the terms of the agreement. Where the issue of arbitrability is contractually delegated to the arbitrator, then independent judicial determination is unnecessary. (Bruni v. Didion (2008) 160 Cal.App.4th 1272, 1286; Tiri v. Lucky Chances, Inc. (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 231, 241-242 Mohamed v. Uber Technologies (2016) 848 8 F.3d 1201, 1208.) Such delegations have been found to valid by the U.S. Supreme Court. (Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer & White Sales, Inc. (2019) 139 S. Ct. 524.)

Because the intent of the parties was to delegate issues of interpretation to the arbitrator, the Court declines to determine whether the arbitration agreement is unconscionable.

Arbitrability of Plaintiffs’ Claims

Generally, an arbitration agreement does not bind a third party. (Thomas v. Westlake (2012) 204 Cal.App.4th 605, 612.) “The strong public policy in favor of arbitration does not extend to those who are not parties to an arbitration agreement, and a party cannot be compelled to arbitrate a dispute that he has not agreed to resolve by arbitration.” (Buckner v. Tamarin (2002) 98 Cal.App.4th 140, 142.)

Here, the ADR Agreement expressly states that: “[t]his ADR agreement also covers any claim or action brought by a party other than you (e.g. an action by your spouse, legal representative, agent, heir) arising out of or relating to your hospitalization or outpatient service against the hospital or its employees.” (Hildebrand Decl., Exh. 1.)

Because Plaintiffs are the heirs of Decedent and because the ADR Agreement satisfies the requirements of Code of Civil Procedure Section 1295, their claims against Defendants fall within the scope of the ADR Agreement. (Ruiz v. Podolsky (2010) 50 Cal.4th 838, 851 (heirs are bound by arbitration agreements entered into by decedent with respect to claims about medical treatment, including wrongful death claims.) Because Plaintiff Perry has not indicated that he was coerced into signing the agreement, he had the responsibility of reading the agreement. (Security First National Trust & Savings Bank v. William Loftus (1933) 129 Cal.App. 650, 654; Lemonia T. Randas v. YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles (1993) 17 Cal.App.4th 158, 163.) Therefore, because all of Plaintiffs’ causes of action can be compelled into arbitration, there is no potential for inconsistent rulings, and thus, the Court does not need to exercise its discretion pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure ; 1281.2(c).

Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiffs’ claims can be compelled to arbitration because they are within the scope of the ADR Agreement and Plaintiff Perry had the responsibility of reading the ADR Agreement before signing it.

Motion for Stay

If a party applies to a court “for an order to arbitrate a controversy which is an issue involved in an action or proceeding pending before a court of this State and such application is undetermined, the court in which such action or proceeding is pending shall, upon motion of a party to such action or proceeding, stay the action or proceeding until the application for an order to arbitrate is determined and, if arbitration of such controversy is ordered, until an arbitration is had in accordance with the order to arbitrate or until such earlier time as the court specifies.” (Code of Civ. Proc., ; 1281.4.)

Because the Court granted Defendants’ petition to compel arbitration, the motion to stay the proceedings is also GRANTED.

Conclusion

Because the ADR Agreement is valid and enforceable, the Court GRANTS Defendants’ petition to compel arbitration and stay the proceedings during the pendency of the arbitration process.

A status conference regarding the status of the arbitration is set for February 23, 2022 at 8:30 a.m.

Moving party is ORDERED to give notice.


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