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East West Bank v. Bingham

United States District Court, W.D. Washington

January 14, 2014

EAST WEST BANK, Plaintiff,
v.
DAVID S. BINGHAM, et al., Defendants

Page 1131

For East West Bank, a California corporation, Plaintiff: Daniel Kittle, LEAD ATTORNEY, Randall Paul Beighle, LANE POWELL PC, SEATTLE, WA.

For David S Bingham, Sharon G Bingham, husband and wife, and the marital community comprised thereof, Bingo Investments LLC, a Washington corporation, Park Place Motors Ltd, a Washington corporation, Defendants: Nathan J Arnold, R. Bruce Johnston, JOHNSTON LAWYERS PS, SEATTLE, WA.

For Frances P Graham, an individual, Defendant: Dale Melvin Foreman, FOREMAN ARCH DODGE VOLYN & ZIMMERMAN, WENATCHEE, WA; Daniel J Appel, LAW OFFICES OF DALE M FOREMAN PS, WENATCHEE, WA.

For Henry W Dean, Trustee of the Sharon G Bingham 2007 Trust, Sharon G Bingham 2007 Trust, a Washington Trust, Defendants: R. Bruce Johnston, LEAD ATTORNEY, Nathan J Arnold, JOHNSTON LAWYERS PS, SEATTLE, WA.

OPINION

Page 1132

ORDER

The Honorable Richard A. Jones, United States District Judge.

This matter comes before the court on a motion and renewed motion to compel arbitration, dismiss for failure to state a cause of action or to stay the proceedings by defendants David Bingham, Sharon Bingham, Bingo Investments, LLC, Park Place Motors, Ltd., and Francis P. Graham (collectively, " Non-Trust Defendants). Dkt. ## 16, 27. Defendants Henry Dean, trustee of the Sharon Graham Bingham 2007 Trust (the " SGB Trust" ), and the SGB Trust (collectively, the " Trust Defendants" ) joined in the Non-Trust Defendants' motions.[1] Dkt. # 28.

Plaintiff East West Bank (" EWB" ) concedes that its claims against the Non-Trust Defendants are subject to arbitration.[2] Dkt. # 29 at 1-2. Accordingly, the court GRANTS the Non-Trust Defendants' motions to compel arbitration and dismisses this action as to them. See Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc. v. Byrd, 470 U.S. 213, 217, 105 S.Ct. 1238, 84 L.Ed.2d 158 (1985) (" the Arbitration Act requires district courts to compel arbitration of pendent arbitrable claims when one of the parties files a motion to compel, even where the result would be the possibly inefficient maintenance of separate proceedings in different forums." ).

The Trust Defendants argue that the court should order arbitration of the claims against them pursuant to T-Mobile USA, Inc. v. Montijo, Case No. C12-1317RSM, 2012 WL 6194204 (W.D. Wash. Dec. 11, 2012), or, alternatively, that the court should stay this case until the arbitration concludes.[3] Dkt. # 28. The court in T-Mobile applied equitable estoppel to a nonsignatory defendant who sought to compel arbitration of a signatory plaintiff's claim pursuant to Comer v. Micor, Inc., 436 F.3d 1098 (9th Cir. 2006) and Mundi v. Union Sec. Life Ins. Co., 555 F.3d 1042 (9th Cir. 2009), among other cases.

" [A]rbitration is a matter of contract and a party cannot be required to submit to arbitration any dispute which he has not agreed so to submit." Howsam v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 537 U.S. 79, 83, 123 S.Ct. 588, 154 L.Ed.2d 491 (2002). " The United States Supreme Court has held that a litigant who is not a party to an arbitration agreement may invoke arbitration under the [Federal Arbitration Act (" FAA" )] if the relevant state contract law allows the litigant to enforce the agreement." Kramer v. Toyota Motor Corp., 705 F.3d 1122, 1128 (9th Cir. 2013) (citing Arthur Andersen LLP v. Carlisle, 556 U.S. 624, 631, 129 S.Ct. 1896, 173 L.Ed.2d 832 (2009)).

Page 1133

[4] The parties have not cited, and the court has not found, any Washington case addressing whether a nonsignatory defendant may compel arbitration against a signatory plaintiff.[5] Nevertheless, the Washington Supreme Court has cited Mundi favorably with respect to its analysis of equitable estoppel in the arbitration context. Townsend v. Quadrant Corp., 173 Wash.2d 451, 461, 268 P.3d 917 (Wash. 2012). ...


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