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McAllister v. Central Maine Healthcare

Superior Court of Maine, Androscoggin

April 18, 2019

LISA MCALLISTER, D.O. and ERIC SLAYTON, D.O., Plaintiffs
v.
CENTRAL MAINE HEALTHCARE, Defendant.

          LISA MCALLISTER DO - PLAINTIFF Attorney for: LISA MCALLISTER DO HOWARD REBEN - RETAINED REBEN, BENJAMIN & MARCH

          Attorney for: LISA MCALLISTER DO SAMUEL S RIOTTE - RETAINED MCTEAGUE HIGBEE CASE COHEN WHITNEY TOKER PA

          ERIC SLAYTON - PLAINTIFF Attorney for: ERIC SLAYTON HOWARD REBEN - RETAINED REBEN, BENJAMIN & MARCH

          Attorney for: ERIC SLAYTON SAMUEL S RIOTTE - RETAINED MCTEAGUE HIGBEE CASE COHEN WHITNEY TOKER PA

          CENTRAL MAINE HEALTHCARE - DEFENDANT Attorney for: CENTRAL MAINE HEALTHCARE KENNETH PIERCE - RETAINED 03/19/2019 MONAGHAN LEAHY LLP

          ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION

          MaryGay Kennedy, Justice

          Before the Court are Plaintiffs' motion[1] to compel arbitration[2] and Defendant's motion to dismiss. For the following reasons, Defendant's motion to dismiss is denied, and Plaintiffs' motion to compel arbitration is granted.

         I. Background

         On February 26, 2019, Plaintiffs Drs. Lisa McAllister and Eric Slayton filed nearly identical complaints in this Court. Plaintiffs' complaints both allege they entered into an employment agreement with Defendant Central Maine Healthcare ("CMHC") to work as full-time family medicine physicians at Bridgton Hospital. Relevant to this motion, the employment agreements entered into by both Plaintiffs contain a post-employment restriction clause and an arbitration clause. Count I of Plaintiffs' complaints requests that the Court compel this matter to arbitration pursuant to the arbitration clause. Count II requests, in the alternative, that the Court issue a declaratory judgment that the agreement's post-employment restriction is unenforceable.

         The post-employment restriction states, in relevant part:

Physician agrees that in the event Physician ceases to be employed by [CMHC], for any reason, Physician will not directly or indirectly engage in the practice of medicine or osteopathy within 25 miles from 253 Bridgton Road, Fryeburg Maine for a period of eighteen months thereafter.[3]

(Pl.'s Mot. to Compel, Ex. A at 5.) The arbitration clause states, in relevant part:

Any claim or dispute arising out of or requiring an interpretation of this Agreement, or the employment relationship, including the termination of this Agreement, or any violation of this Agreement which may occur after the termination of this ...

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