The Western Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals recently reversed a trial court which had denied a Motion to Compel Arbitration.

In Mooring v. Kindred Healthcare Operating, Inc., et al., No. W1007-02875-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App., January 20, 2009)(copy below), the Court of Appeals considered the defendants’ appeal of the trial court’s denial of the defendants’ Motion to Compel Arbitration. Joseph Walker was the Trial Judge, Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel represented the Defendants, and the Cochran Firm represented the Plaintiff.

The Court of Appeals in reversing the trial court and remanding the case for determination of factual issues, held: (1) the trial court’s determination that there was no apparent authority was invalid because the defendants argued implied actual authority, which is a separate and distinct legal theory; (2) the trial court failed to resolve necessary factual disputes relevant to the authority of the signor to bind the resident; and (3) the trial court erred in determining the ADR Agreement was not reasonable under the circumstances.

When enforcing the subject ADR Agreement, the Court of Appeals relied heavily on Raines v. National Health Corp., No. M2006-1280-COA-R3-CV, 2007 WL 4322063 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 26, 2007). The Court of Appeals also noted "that counsel for [Plaintiff] erroneously represented to the trial court that implied actual authority was really just ‘another way of saying’ apparent authority and ‘a distinction without a difference.’"

Author: Larry Brock/Ryan Malone from Chambliss Bahner &Stophel