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Gergeni v. The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division

March 6, 2018

RAMONA J. GERGENI, Plaintiff,
v.
THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN GOOD SAMARITAN SOCIETY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          LINDA R. READER JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I. INTRODUCTION ......................................1

         II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY ........................2

         III. SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION .........................2

         IV. RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND .......................3

         A. Parties .......................................... 3

         B. Overview of the Dispute .............................. 3

         V. ANALYSIS ........................................... 4

         A. Valid Arbitration Agreement ........................... 5

         1. Disparity in bargaining power ...................... 6

         2. Substantive unfairness ........................... 7

         a. Unilateral modification ..................... 8

         b. Fees and costs ............................ 9

         c. Unilateral damages ....................... 10

         B. Arbitrability ..................................... 12

         VI. CONCLUSION ....................................... 12

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The matter before the court is Defendant Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society's (“Good Samaritan”) “Motion to Stay Proceedings and Compel Arbitration” (“Motion”) (docket no. 4).

         II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On May 30, 2017, Plaintiff Ramona J. Gergeni filed a Complaint (docket no. 1) asserting a claim of age discrimination against Good Samaritan, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. § 623(a), and the Iowa Civil Rights Act (“ICRA”), Iowa Code § 216.6. On July 27, 2017, Good Samaritan filed the Motion. On August 24, 2017, Gergeni filed a Resistance (docket no. 9). On August 31, 2017, Good Samaritan filed a Reply (docket no. 12). Neither party has requested oral argument and the court finds that oral argument is unnecessary. The matter is fully submitted and ready for decision.

         III. SUBJECT ...


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