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Nieves v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 20, 2015

ANTHONY NIEVES, ET AL
v.
TRAVELERS CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, ET AL

Bradford Child, Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs.

Christine Cusick, Attorneys Present for Defendants.

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

CHRISTINA A. SNYDER, District Judge.

Proceedings: DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO ENFORCE COURT'S ORDER COMPELLING ARBITRATION, OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, TO SELECT A THIRD ARBITRATOR (Dkt. 65, filed June 24, 2015)

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiffs Anthony Nieves, Five Star Home Health, Inc., and Convergence Investments LLC (collectively, "plaintiffs") filed this action against defendant Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company ("Philadelphia") and other insurer defendants (collectively, "defendants") on May 22, 2014, in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Dkt. 1. Defendants removed the case to this Court on July 16, 2014. Id . On September 29, 2014, the Court ordered plaintiffs and Philadelphia to arbitrate their dispute, as provided for in the arbitration clause of the relevant insurance policy. Dkt. 34. On June 24, 2015, following a disagreement between the parties about disclosure and neutrality requirements for party-appointed arbitrators, Philadelphia moved for an order compelling plaintiffs to direct their party-selected arbitrator to meet and confer and decide on a third arbitrator. Dkt. 65 In the alternative, Philadelphia requests that the Court unilaterally appoint a third arbitrator.[1] Id . The Court held a hearing on July 20, 2015. Having carefully considered the parties' arguments, the Court finds and concludes as follows.

II. BACKGROUND

This case arises from a dispute as to whether defendants breached their duty to defend insured plaintiffs when defendants declined to represent plaintiffs in an arbitration proceeding.

Defendant Philadelphia issued policy number PHPK627074, for the policy period October 1, 2010 to October 1, 2011, to named insured "Five Star Home Health, Inc." ("the policy"). The policy contains the following arbitration provision:

BINDING ARBITRATION
* * *
If we and the insured do not agree whether coverage is provided under this Coverage Part for a claim made against the insured, then either party may make a written demand for arbitration.
When this demand is made, each party will select an arbitrator. The two arbitrators will select a third. If they cannot agree within 30 days, either may request that selection be made by a ...

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