United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND
COMPEL ARBITRATION AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S AMENDED MOTION
FOR SANCTIONS, MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY, AND MOTION TO
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendant PeaceHealth's
(“PeaceHealth”) motion to dismiss and compel
arbitration (Dkt. 23) and Plaintiff Viorel Angheloiu's
(“Angheloiu”) amended motion for sanctions (Dkt.
28), motion to compel discovery (Dkt. 30), and motion to
continue PeaceHealth's motion (Dkt. 31). 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:
October 30, 2017, Angheloiu filed a complaint against
PeaceHealth asserting causes of action for wrongful
termination in violation of public policy and a violation of
the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act
(“PSQIA”). Dkt. 1. On February 8, 2018, Angheloiu
filed an amended complaint adding a claim for declaratory
relief that his two other claims are not subject to
arbitration. Dkt. 22.
February 21, 2018, PeaceHealth filed a motion to dismiss and
compel arbitration. Dkt. 23. On March 23, 2018, Angheloiu
filed a provisional response and motion to compel and a
motion for sanctions and provisional response. Dkts. 23, 24.
On March 29, 2018, Angheloiu filed an amended provisional
response and amended motion for sanctions. Dkt. 28, 29. On
April 2, 2018, Angheloiu filed a motion to stay
PeaceHealth's motion. Dkt. 29. On April 4, 2018,
Angheloiu filed a motion to compel and a motion to continue
noting date for PeaceHealth's motion. Dkts. 30, 31. On
April 5, 2018, the Court issued an order directing Angheloiu
to stop filing redundant motions seeking the same relief and
renoted all pending motions for consideration on the
Court's April 20, 2018 calendar. Dkt. 32. On April 17,
2018, PeaceHealth responded to Angheloiu's motions. Dkt.
36. On April 20, 2018, Angheloiu replied. Dkt. 38.
commencement of his employment, Angheloiu and PeaceHealth
executed a Physician Employment Agreement (“Employment
Agreement”). Dkt. 24 at 4-25. The agreement contains a
dispute resolution section, which provides a procedure to
follow when disputes arose relating to the Agreement.
Id. § 8. The parties agreed to first meet and
confer to resolve the dispute. Id. § 8.1. If
the dispute was not resolved, the parties agreed to engage in
mediation. Id. If the parties could not resolve the
dispute in mediation, then the parties agreed to arbitration.
Id. § 8.2.
parties also entered into a Recruitment Agreement. Dkt. 24 at
37-41. The agreement incorporates the Employment Agreement.
Id. at 37. The Recruitment Agreement also contains a
choice of law provision that provides that the state and
federal courts of Washington shall have jurisdiction over the
agreement. Id. § IV.D.
parties dispute whether Angheloiu has sufficient time and/or
ability to read and understand the provisions of these
agreements. PeaceHealth contends that it sent the agreements
to Angheloiu almost a week before he signed and returned
them. Dkt. 24 at 1, ¶ 2. Angheloiu contends that
“[d]uring the time that PeaceHealth gave me to consider
the [agreements], I did not have time to consult with counsel
or carefully consider the documents. I was experiencing
significant relationship problems and had to travel to
Ohio.” Dkt. 25-2, ¶ 2.
the discovery motions, on December 22, 2017, Angheloiu sent
requests for production (“RFPs”) to PeaceHealth.
Dkt. 30-2 at 4-33. Angheloiu sent 89 requests, some with
multiple parts. Id. PeaceHealth responded, objecting
to the majority of the requests and also producing some
documents. Dkt. 36 at 4; Dkt. 28-2 at 143-199. On Friday
March 2, 2018, Angheloiu sent PeaceHealth a notice of limited
deposition requesting a 30(b)(6) deposition and listing 22
topics that he intended to explore. Dkt. 37 at 10-15.
Angheloiu stated that the preferable time for the deposition
was the following Monday March 5, 2018 starting at 9:00 AM.
Id. at 10. PeaceHealth objected to the notice. After
some discussions, the deposition occurred on March 21, 2018.
Dkt. 28-2 at 1. In general, the parties dispute the scope of
discovery at this point of the proceeding. Angheloiu seeks
broad discovery while PeaceHealth contends that discovery
should be limited to the issue presented in the motion to
dismiss or compel arbitration.
threshold matter, PeaceHealth argues that the Court should
deny Angheloiu's discovery motions because he failed to
meet and confer. The Local Rules of Procedure require any
motion to compel to include a certification that the movant
has attempted in good faith to meet and confer with the
opposing party to resolve the discovery issue without Court
intervention. LCR 37(a)(1). “The certification must
list the date, manner, and participants to the
conference.” Id. “If the movant fails to
include such a certification, the court may deny the motion
without addressing the merits of the dispute.”
case, Angheloiu's motion to compel includes a
certification that the parties “conferred in good faith
regarding the substance of the motion . . . .” Dkt. 30
at 1. Angheloiu, however, fails to list the date, manner, and
participants to the conference. Id. Instead, the
motion and the accompanying declaration simply refer to
numerous email exchanges regarding Angheloiu's RFP's
and deposition request. Id.; Dkt. 30-1 (declaration
of counsel). In response, PeaceHealth asserts that, at most,
the parties have only conferred regarding RFPs ...