Pruitt et al v. Act Fast Delivery, Inc. et al

Western District of Texas, txwd-5:2019-cv-00049

MOTION by Act Fast Courier of Texas, Inc., Act Fast Delivery of Houston, Inc., Act Fast Delivery of S.A., Inc., Act Fast Delivery of Travis County, Inc., Act Fast Delivery of Tyler, Inc., Act Fast Delivery, Inc., Act Fast of Coastal Bend, Inc., Mike D Miller.

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS SAN ANTONIO DIVISION SANDRA PRUITT, JASMINE § HUNTSBERRY, YUVANNDA § WATSON, A YAN NUR, and KAREN § LAWSON, Individually and § On Behalf of All Others Similarly § Situated, § Plaintiffs, § § V. § § C.A. No. 5:19-CV-00049-DAE ACT FAST DELIVERY, INC.; ACT § FAST COURIER OF TEXAS, INC.; § ACT FAST DELIVERY OF § HOUSTON, INC.; ACT FAST OF § COASTAL BEND, INC.; ACT FAST § DELIVERY OF S.A., INC.; ACT § FAST DELIVERY OF TYLER, § INC.; ACT FAST DELIVERY OF § TRAVIS COUNTY, INC.; and § MIKE MILLER; § Defendants § DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION OF CLAIMS FILED BY PLAINTIFFS SANDRA PRUITT, KAREN LAWSON, AYAN NUR, AND JASMINE HUNTSBERRY [RELATES TO DOC. NO. 1] TO THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT: COME NOW Defendants Act Fast Delivery, Inc.; Act Fast Courier of Texas, Inc.; Act Fast Delivery of Houston, Inc.; Act Fast of Coastal Bend, Inc.; Act Fast Delivery of S.A., Inc.; Act Fast Delivery of Tyler, Inc.; Act Fast Delivery of Travis County, Inc.; and Mike Miller (collectively "Defendants") and pursuant to Rule 12(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure files this Defendants' Motion to Compel Arbitration of claims filed by Plaintiffs Defendants' Motion to Compel Arbitration of Claims Filed by Plaintiffs Sandra Pruitt, Karen Lawson, Ayan Nur, and Jasmine Huntsberry Page I of6 Sandra Pruitt, Karen Lawson, Ayan Nur, and Jasmine Huntsberry (the "Motion"), and in support shows the Court as follows: I. PRELIMINARY STATEMENT 1. On June 19, 2014, Plaintiff Sandra Pruitt entered into an arbitration agreement with Defendant Act Fast Delivery of Texas, Inc. A true and correct copy of that arbitration agreement is attached hereto as Exhibit "A-1." 2. On August 12, 2015, Plaintiff Karen Lawson entered into an arbitration agreement with Defendant Act Fast Delivery of Tyler, Inc. A true and correct copy of that arbitration agreement is attached hereto as Exhibit "A-2." 3. On December 4, 2015, Plaintiff Ayan Nur entered into an arbitration agreement with Defendant Act Fast Delivery of Texas, Inc. A true and correct copy of that arbitration agreement is attached hereto as Exhibit "A-3." 4. On March 30, 2017, Plaintiff Jasmine Huntsberry entered into an arbitration agreement with Defendant Act Fast Delivery of Texas, Inc. A true and correct copy of that arbitration agreement is attached hereto as Exhibit "A-4." 5. All four of the arbitration agreements are substantially the same (and are referred to herein collectively as the "Arbitration Agreements"). 6. The Arbitration Agreements provide: Any and all claims or controversies arising out of or relating to my employment, the termination thereof, or otherwise arising between me and[Act Fast Delivery of Texas [in the case of Karen Lawson: Act Fast Delivery of Tyler] and/or any of its subsidiaries or affiliations (collectively the "Company") shall, in lieu of a jury or other civil trial, be settled by final and binding arbitration before a neutral arbitrator (the "Arbitrator"). This agreement to arbitrate includes any claim, dispute, or controversy that either I may have against the Company (or its owners, directors, officers, managers, employees, agents, and parties affiliated with its employee benefit and health plans) or the Company (or its owners, directors, Defendants' Motion to Compel Arbitration of Claims Filed by Plaintiffs Sandra Pruitt, Karen Lawson, Ayan Nur, and Jasmine Huntsberry Page2of6 officers, managers, employees, agents, and parties affiliated with its employee benefit and health plans) may have against me, arising from, related to, or having any relationship or connection whatsoever with my independent contractor agreement or relationship with the Company, or any other association or relationship with the Company. See Arbitration Agreements, Ex. A-1, A-2, A-3, and A-4, 1 1. 7. The Arbitration Agreements further provide that they cover "all disputes. . based on ... unpaid compensation of any kind ... including ... the Fair Labor Standards Act." See Arbitration Agreements, Ex. A-1, A-2, A-3, and A-4, 12. 8. The Arbitration Agreements also provide that any such disputes are to be arbitrated in "accordance with the National rules [sic] for the Resolution of Disputes of the American Arbitration Association." See Arbitration Agreements, Ex. A-1, A-2, A-3, and A-4, 1 5. 9. On March 28, 2019, Plaintiffs filed the present lawsuit to assert claims to recover for unpaid overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). Plaintiffs' claims fall squarely within the plain language of the Arbitration Agreements. Accordingly, Defendants respectfully request the Court dismiss the pending litigation and compel Plaintiffs to arbitration pursuant to the provisions of the Arbitration Agreements. II. ARGUMENT AND AUTHORITIES 10. Federal and state law strongly favor arbitration. Howsan v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 537 U.S. 79, 83 (2002); see 9 U.S.C. §§ 4,208,307. State and federal policies so strongly favor arbitration that a "presumption exists favoring agreements to arbitrate under the FAA." In re First Merit Bank, N.A., 52 S.W.3d 749, 753 (Tex. 2001). Courts must resolve any doubts about an agreement to arbitrate in favor of arbitration. Tittle v. Enron Corp., 463 F .3d 410, 418 (5th Cir. 2006). The FAA mandates that courts direct parties to proceed to arbitration Defendants' Motion to Compel Arbitration of Claims Filed by Plaintiffs Sandra Pruitt, Karen Lawson, Ayan Nur, and Jasmine Huntsberry Page3of6 on issues subject to an arbitration agreement. Bhatia v. Johnston, 818 F.2d 418, 421 (5 th Cir. 1987). 11. There is no question that the Arbitration Agreements include a valid agreement to arbitrate. See Arbitration Agreements, Ex. A-1, A-2, A-3, and A-4, 11. 12. If an arbitration agreement exists ''the court shall make an order summarily directing the parties to proceed with the arbitration in accordance with the terms thereof." See Mitsubishi Motors Corp. v. Soler Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc., 473 U.S. 614,627 (1985). 13. This lawsuit is for unpaid compensation according to the FLSA. The Arbitration Agreements' plain language states that they cover "all disputes. . . based on. . . unpaid compensation of any kind ... including ... the [FLSA]." See Arbitration Agreements, Ex. A-1, A-2, A-3, and A-4, 12. 14. While Defendant Act Fast Delivery of Texas, Inc. is the only signatory to the arbitration agreements with Plaintiffs Sandra Pruitt, Ayan Nur, and Jasmine Huntsberry, and Defendant Act Fast Delivery of Tyler, Inc. is the only signatory to the arbitration agreement with Plaintiff Karen Lawson, all Defendants are entitled to have the claims against them compelled to arbitration as well as they are "subsidiaries or affiliations" of Defendants Act Fast Delivery of Texas, Inc. and Act Fast Delivery of Tyler, Inc. See Arbitration Agreements, Ex. A-1, A-2, A-3, andA-4, 11. 15. As such, this court should compel Plaintiffs Sandra Pruitt, Karen Lawson, Ayan Nur, and Jasmine Huntsberry to arbitrate their claims. WHEREFORE, Defendants Act Fast Delivery, Inc.; Act Fast Courier of Texas, Inc.; Act Fast Delivery of Houston, Inc.; Act Fast of Coastal Bend, Inc.; Act Fast Delivery of S.A., Inc.; Act Fast Delivery of Tyler, Inc.; Act Fast Delivery of Travis County, Inc.; and Mike Miller Defendants' Motion to Compel Arbitration of Claims Filed by Plaintiffs Sandra Pruitt, Karen Lawson, Ayan Nur, and Jasmine Huntsberry Page4o/6 respectfully request that the Court grant this Motion, and, dismiss the pending litigation and compel Plaintiffs Sandra Pruitt, Karen Lawson, Ayan Nur, and Jasmine Huntsberry's claims to arbitration, and award Defendants any further relief to which they are justly entitled. Respectfully submitted, By: Isl Joseph F. Colvin. Jr. Joseph F. Colvin, Jr. TBN: 24072777 Hughes Watters Askanase, L.L.P. Total Plaza 1201 Louisiana, 28 th Floor Houston, Texas 77002 Phone:(713) 759-0818 Fax: (713) 759-6834 jcolvin@hwa.com ATTORNEY-IN-CHARGE FOR DEFENDANTS Defendants' Motion to Compel Arbitration of Claims Filed by Plaintiffs Sandra Pruitt, Karen Lawson, Ayan Nur, am/ Jasmine Huntsberry Page5 of6 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of Defendants' Motion to Compel Arbitration of claims filed by Plaintiffs Sandra Pruitt, Karen Lawson, Ayan Nur, and Jasmine Huntsberry was served on the following counsel of record via the Court's ECF Filing System on the 7th day of June 2019: Melissa Moore melissa(a),mooreandassociates.net Curt Christopher Hesse curt(a),mooreandassociates.net Bridget Dale Davidson bridget(a),mooreandassociates.net Moore & Associates Lyric Center 440 Louisiana, Ste. 675 Houston, Texas 77002 By: Isl Joseph F. Colvin. Jr. Joseph F. Colvin, Jr. Defendants' Motion to Compel Arbitration of Claims Filed by Plaintiffs Sandra Pruitt, Karen Lawson, Ayan Nur, and Jasmine Huntsberry Page 6 of6