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MultiCare Health System v. Washington State Nurses Association

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

February 8, 2017

MULTICARE HEALTH SYSTEM, Plaintiff,
v.
WASHINGTON STATE NURSES ASSOCIATION, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR CLARIFICATION AS MOOT AND GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO AMEND JUDGMENT

          BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Washington State Nurses Association's (“WSNA”) motion for clarification of order (Dkt. 41) and motion to amend judgment (Dkt. 43). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motions and the remainder of the file and hereby rules as follows:

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On January 21, 2016, Plaintiff MultiCare Health System (“MultiCare”) filed a complaint against WSNA seeking to vacate an arbitrator's decision and award. Dkt. 1 (“Comp.”).

         On May 12, 2016, WSNA filed a motion for summary judgment to confirm the decision. Dkt. 15. On May 31, 2016, MultiCare responded. Dkt. 23. On June 6, 2016, WSNA replied. Dkt. 26.

         On June 16, 2016, MultiCare filed a motion for summary judgment to vacate the decision. Dkt. 29. On July 5, 2016, WSNA responded. Dkt. 31. On July 8, 2016, MultiCare replied. Dkt. 32.

         On September 14, 2016, the Court requested additional briefing on certain issues. Dkt. 33. On September 30, 2016, both parties filed supplemental opening briefs. Dkts. 34, 35. On October 7, 2016, both parties filed supplemental response briefs. Dkts. 36, 37.

         On November 17, 2016, the Court granted both motions in part and denied both motions in part. Dkt. 38. In relevant part, the Court affirmed the arbitrator's decision as to liability but vacated the award as to remedies. Id. at 13. On November 18, 2016, the Clerk entered judgment. Dkt. 39.

         On November 30, 2016, WSNA moved for clarification on the issue of whether the Court intended to remand the matter to the arbitrator for further proceedings on the issue of remedies. Dkt. 41. On December 12, 2016, MultiCare responded and argued that WSNA's motion is an unwarranted motion for reconsideration. Dkt. 42.

         On December 15, 2016, WSNA filed a motion to amend judgment. Dkt. 43.[1] On December 423, 2016, MultiCare responded. Dkt. 46. On December 30, 2016, WSNA replied. Dkt. 47.

         II. DISCUSSION

         “Since specific grounds for a motion to amend or alter are not listed in the rule, the district court enjoys considerable discretion in granting or denying the motion.” McDowell v. Calderon, 197 F.3d 1253, 1255 (9th Cir. 1999) (en banc) (quoting 11 Charles Alan Wright et al., Federal Practice and Procedure § 2810.1 (2d ed.1995))

         In this case, the issue before the Court is whether the judgment should be altered to state explicitly what the Court implicitly intended. While MultiCare forcefully suggests that granting the motion would be an extraordinary remedy, the Court finds no harm in explicitly addressing the issue of further proceedings. On the other hand, it would be a manifest injustice and a waste of resources to affirm the arbitrator's finding of liability and vacate the arbitrator's remedy with no further direction. Therefore, the Court will address the merits of WSNA's motion.

         “[W]hen the arbitrator's award may properly be vacated, the appropriate remedy is to remand the case for further arbitration proceedings.” Major League Baseball Players Ass'n v. Garvey, 532 U.S. 504, 511 (2001) ...


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