JPMorgan Chase & Co. v. Conegie, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38937 (D. Miss. 2006)

Plaintiff filed a State court action alleging nursing home negligence at a home controlled by JPMorgan. When admitted, Plaintiff’s mother filed a conspicuous arbitration clause, introduced in bold-faced font stating “ARBITRATION – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY.” After the State court action was filed, JPMorgan filed a federal action to compel arbitration. The only argument considered was whether the resident’s mother had authority to sign the arbitration agreement. Citing Mariner Health Care, Inc. v. Estate of Rhodes, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42650 (D. Miss. 2005), the court found that resident’s mother had no legal authority to sign the agreement and denied the motion and that doctrines of express agency, implied agency and apparent agency did not apply since there was neither evidence of a writing authorizing the mother to sign nor any evidence that the resident caused the nursing home to believe her mother had apparent authority to sign.

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