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Krohn v. Spectrum Gulf Coast LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

September 19, 2019

DYLAN KROHN
v.
SPECTRUM GULF COAST, LLC and CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS, LLC

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          KAREN GREN SCHOLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This Order addresses Defendant Charter Communications, LLC's ("Charter") Motion to Compel Arbitration and Dismiss Plaintiffs Complaint [ECF No. 14]. For the following reasons, the Court grants the Motion in part and denies the Motion in part.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Charter is a telecommunications company offering telephone, internet, and cable services to customers nationwide. Br. in Supp. Mot. to Compel Arbitration ("Br.") 2. Plaintiff Dylan Krohn ("Plaintiff) has been an employee of Charter since 2012. Id. On October 6, 2017, Charter launched Solution Channel-an alternative dispute resolution program that included a binding arbitration provision governing all claims arising out of employment with Charter. Id. Charter alleges that on that date, notice of the new program was sent to Plaintiff via his company email account. See id.; Def.'s App. 03-04 ¶ 20, 15-16.

         That notice-which Plaintiff opened[1]-announced the program and provided a link to a summary of the program, which, in turn, contained a link to the arbitration agreement ("Agreement"). See Def.'s App. 05-08, 15-16; Def, 's Reply App'x 3 0-31. The notice also notified Plaintiff of his eligibility to opt-out of the program. See Id. at 06, 26.

         The notice read, in relevant part, as follows:

In the unlikely event of a dispute not resolved through the normal channels, Charter has launched Solution Channel, a program that allows you and the company to efficiently resolve covered employment-related legal disputes through binding arbitration. By participating in Solution Channel, you and Charter both waive the right to initiate or participate in court litigation (including class, collective and representative actions) involving a covered claim .... Unless you opt out of participating in Solution Channel within the next 30 days, you will be enrolled."

Def.'s App. 05-06, 15-16. Plaintiff did not exercise his right to opt-out of the program. Def.'s App. 04.

         The Agreement includes the following language:

B. Covered Claims. You and Charter mutually agree that the following disputes, claims, and controversies (collectively referred to as "covered claims") will be submitted to arbitration in accordance with this Agreement:
1. all disputes, claims, and controversies that could be asserted in court or before an administrative agency or for which you or Charter have an alleged cause of action related to pre-employment, employment, employment termination or post-employment-related claims, whether the claims are denominated as tort, contract, common law, or statutory claims (whether under local, state or federal law), including without limitation claims for: collection of overpaid wages and commissions, recovery of reimbursed tuition or relocation expense reimbursement, damage to or loss of Charter property, recovery of unauthorized charges on company credit card; claims for unlawful termination, unlawful failure to hire or failure to promote, wage and hour-based claims including claims for unpaid wages, commissions, or other compensation or penalties (including meal and rest break claims, claims for inaccurate wage statements, claims for reimbursement of expenses)....

Id:, Def.'s App. 09. Plaintiff filed this action in state court on September 11, 2018, asserting causes of action for breach of contract, quantum meruit, and fraud-all based on alleged unpaid commissions. Pl.'s Orig. Pet. ¶¶ 34-50. Defendants removed the case to this Court on October 15, 2018, see ECF No. 1, and Charter filed the pending Motion on March 20, 2019.

         II. ANALYSIS

         Pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA"), 9 U.S.C. § 1, et seq., written arbitration provisions "shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract." 9 U.S.C. ยง 2. The FAA provides that a party seeking to enforce an arbitration provision may petition the court for "an order directing the parties ...


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