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Ascendant Anesthesia PLLC and v. Abazi - Texas Lawyer

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Ascendant Anesthesia PLLC and v. Abazi
Douglas S. Lang Justice Other Decisions

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Tx. App. Dist. 5 August 2, 2011

In this interlocutory appeal, Ascendant Anesthesia PLLC and Richard Toussaint, M.D. appeal the trial court's order denying Ascendant's motion to compel arbitration of claims for damages between Ascendant's former employee Alketa Abazi and appellants. No provision of the Anesthesia Policies, on its face, precludes application of the policies to former employees. The trial court erred by denying the motion to compel arbitration. The court rejects Abazi's argument that because the arbitration provision "carved out the disputes most likely to occur between an employer and former employees," i.e., disputes involving "non-competition, non solicitation and disclosure of information belonging to Ascendant" are expressly not subject to arbitration, the unambiguous language of the provision that requires arbitration for all other controversies does not extend to claims by former employees. The language of the arbitration provision as a whole cannot be harmonized under Abazi's interpretation. Ascendant's acts should not be deemed to have "substantially invoked the judicial process enough to overcome the presumption against waiver." The trial court's order is reversed, rendered granting the motion, and remanded. Dallas Court of Appeals, No. 05-11-00115-CV, 08-02-2011.

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