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Thursday, June 21, 2012

KAREN COLE VS. JERSEY CITY MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL. A-4914-09T1


KAREN COLE VS. JERSEY CITY MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL.
 A-4914-09T1

After she was terminated from her position as a nurse
anesthetist, plaintiff sued the Jersey City Medical Center and
her immediate employer, Liberty Anesthesia Associates, LLC.,
under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act and the Law
Against Discrimination.  Plaintiff's employment agreement with
Liberty had an arbitration clause covering these claims.  She
did not have a similar arrangement with the Medical Center. 
 
After plaintiff settled her claims against the Medical
Center, the trial court granted Liberty's motion to enforce the 
arbitration clause.  We hold that Liberty is precluded from
enforcing the arbitration clause.  Liberty could have moved to
bifurcate plaintiff's claims against Liberty from her claims
against the Medical Center.  Instead, as a matter of litigation
strategy, Liberty opted to participate in the suit brought in
the Superior Court for a period of twenty months, completing all
reciprocal discovery.  Liberty did not raise the issue of
arbitration until three days before the scheduled trial date. 03-29-12