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Quilloin v. Tenet HealthSystem Phila., Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

September 21, 2011, Argued; March 14, 2012, Filed

No. 11-1393

Opinion

 [*224]  OPINION OF THE COURT

FISHER, Circuit Judge.

Tenet Healthcare Corporation, along with two of its subsidiaries, appeals from  [*225]  the District Court's denial without prejudice of its motion to compel arbitration. The central issue is whether the District Court erred in finding genuine disputes of material fact that might render the arbitration agreement unconscionable and unenforceable. Finding no such disputes, we will reverse.

Plaintiff and Appellee Janice Quilloin ("Quilloin") is a registered nurse with an associate's degree, who began working at Hahnemann University Hospital in October of 2006. In February 2008, Quilloin resigned to take another job. Later that year, she reapplied for a position at Hahnemann, and was rehired  [**2] in December 2008. She continued working at Hahnemann until November 2009. Hahnemann University Hospital is owned by Tenet HealthSystem Hahnemann, LLC and managed by Tenet HealthSystem Philadelphia, both subsidiaries of Tenet Healthcare Corporation, a health care services company with subsidiaries operating 55 hospitals with over 14,000 beds, as of December 31, 2008. Tenet Healthcare Corporation, Tenet HealthSystem Hahnemann, LLC and Tenet HealthSystem Philadelphia (collectively "Tenet"), are all Defendants and Appellants in the present action.

On or around the time that Quilloin began her employment, both on October 9, 2006 and on January 5, 2009, she signed the "Employee Acknowledgment" form, which acknowledged receipt of the "Fair Treatment Process" brochure ("FTP"). Quilloin at first claimed that she did not sign a form in October 2006, but only signed in January 2009. However, when Tenet subsequently produced an "Employee Acknowledgement" form signed by Janice Quilloin on October 9, 2006, Quilloin filed a supplemental submission "'acknowledging signing that document' but emphasizing her 'lack of recall' of that act." Quilloin v. Tenet HealthSystem Philadelphia, Inc., 763 F. Supp. 2d 707, 712 n.4 (E.D. Pa. 2011).  [**3] Quilloin does not now dispute that she signed the Employment Acknowledgement or whether she received the FTP.

Quilloin alleges that she was not informed that she would have to commit to arbitration in order to be employed by Tenet. She also alleges that when she was rehired, she did not remember being previously required to sign the "Employee Acknowledgement" form, and thus, was not expecting to sign it a second time.

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673 F.3d 221 *; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 5353 **; 162 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P10,460; 18 Wage & Hour Cas. 2d (BNA) 1563; 2012 WL 833742

JANICE QUILLOIN, an individual, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated v. TENET HEALTHSYSTEM PHILADELPHIA, INC., d/b/a HAHNEMANN UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL; TENET HEALTHCARE CORPORATION; TENET HEALTHSYSTEM HAHNEMANN, LLC, Appellants

Prior History:  [**1] On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. (D.C. No. 2-09-cv-05781). District Judge: Honorable Anita B. Brody.

Quilloin v. Tenet HealthSystem Phila., Inc., 763 F. Supp. 2d 707, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6405 (E.D. Pa., 2011)

CORE TERMS

arbitration, arbitration agreement, unconscionable, district court, agreement to arbitrate, class action, attorney's fees, compel arbitration, limitations, costs, motion to compel arbitration, quotation, waivers, marks, procedural unconscionability, genuine dispute, material fact, bargaining, preempted, questions, disputes, substantive unconscionability, construing, ambiguity, appeals, parties, argues, binding arbitration, specific clause, deny a motion

Business & Corporate Compliance, Arbitration, Federal Arbitration Act, Stay Pending Arbitration, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Appellate Jurisdiction, Final Judgment Rule, Summary Judgment Review, Appealability, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Genuine Disputes, Materiality of Facts, Orders to Compel Arbitration, Scope, Arbitration Agreements, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Legal Entitlement, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitrability, Contracts Law, Defenses, Unconscionability, General Overview, Contract Interpretation, Ambiguities & Contra Proferentem, Special Proceedings, Class Actions, Constitutional Law, Supremacy Clause, Federal Preemption, Justiciability, Mootness, Case or Controversy, Adhesion Contracts