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Kaiser v. CSL Plasma Inc.

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

March 2, 2017

JASMINE KAISER, Plaintiff,
v.
CSL PLASMA INC., a corporation, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. Dkt. #50. Plaintiff asks the Court for an Order dismissing Defendant's defense that this action has been settled, and dismissing Defendant's affirmative defenses of failure to state a claim, preemption and primary jurisdiction. Id. Defendant opposes the motion and asks the Court to instead grant summary judgment in its favor on the bases of preemption and primary jurisdiction. Dkt. #57. For the reasons set forth below, the Court now GRANTS Plaintiff's motion, thereby denying Defendant's request for summary judgment in its favor.

         II. BACKGROUND

         The parties do not dispute the following. On April 27, 2015, Plaintiff filed a discrimination action in King County Superior Court against Defendants. Dkt. #1-1. Defendant removed the action to this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. Dkt. #1.

         In her Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant CSL Plasma Inc. operates and advertises a plasma center in Kent, Washington, where it pays individuals in exchange for plasma “donations.” Dkt. #1-1 at ¶ 7. Plaintiff further alleges that she went to CSL Plasma intending to make a donation but was turned away because she is a transgender person. Dkt. #9. Plaintiff was apparently told that CSL Plasma had placed a “lifetime” deferment on any donation by Plaintiff, and that CSL Plasma would be notifying other, similar centers of the lifetime deferment, which essentially precluded her from ever “donating” her plasma at one of these centers. Id. As a result, Plaintiff filed the instant lawsuit alleging violations of Washington State's Consumer Protection Act (CPA), RCW 19.86.010 to .920, and the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), RCW 49.60.010 to .505. Through her suit, Plaintiff seeks the following relief:

A. a monetary judgment against defendant CSL Plasma and in favor of Ms. Kaiser;
B. declaratory relief pursuant to the Consumer Protection Act and the Washington Law Against Discrimination;
C. injunctive relief pursuant to the Consumer Protection Act;
D. exemplary damages, including exemplary damages under RCW 19.86;
E. an award of attorney fees and costs to the extent authorized by Washington law, including the Washington Law Against Discrimination and the Consumer Protection Act; and
F. such other relief as the Court deems just and proper.

Dkt. #1-1 at 4, Prayer for Relief.

         On August 17, 2015, this Court remanded this matter back to King County Superior Court after finding that Defendant had failed to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the minimum amount in controversy requirement for subject matter jurisdiction had been met. Dkt. #24. The case was then closed. Id.

         On April 12, 2016, Defendant again removed the action to this Court. Dkt. #27. Defendant alleged diversity jurisdiction as the basis of removal, and set forth new evidence of the requisite amount in controversy. Id. Removal was not challenged by Plaintiff, and the Court retained the case.

         On or about November 2, 2106, the parties notified the Court that they had reached a settlement agreement and asked the Court to enter its standard Order of Dismissal. Dkt. #37. The Court entered its standard Order and again closed the matter. Dkt. #37. However, the Court's Order provided that “[i]n the event that the settlement is not perfected, any party may move to reopen the case, provided that such motion is filed within thirty (30) days of the date of this order.” Id.

         Just a few weeks later, on November 29, 2016, Plaintiff moved to reopen this case on the basis that the parties had not been able to perfect settlement. Dkt. #38. The motion was unopposed, and the Court re-opened the matter. Dkt. #40.

         Defendant then filed a Motion to Confirm and Enforce Settlement Agreement, and a Motion for Protective Order, both of which this Court DENIED. Dkts. #45, #48, #63 and #64. At the same time, Plaintiff filed the instant motion, which is now ripe for review.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Legal Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate where “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986). In ruling on summary judgment, a court does not weigh evidence to determine the truth of the matter, but “only determine[s] whether there is a genuine issue for trial.” Crane v. Conoco, Inc., 41 F.3d 547, 549 (9th Cir. 1994) (citing Federal Deposit Ins. Corp. v. O'Melveny & Meyers, ...


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