Failure To Commence Arbitration Following Granting Of Motion To Compel Creates Problems

In Pruteanu v. Team Select Home Care of Missouri, Inc., a Missouri District Court granted defendant’s motion to compel arbitration, staying the action pending completion of the arbitration. After the court entered its order, defendant’s counsel unsuccessfully attempted to persuade plaintiff’s counsel to initiate the arbitration. When plaintiff’s counsel balked, asserting that defendant should commence, the matter found its way back to the court when defendant moved to dismiss the action based on plaintiff’s failure to proceed with the arbitration. Noting that “[i]t is indeed regrettable that the parties permitted the matter to reach this impasse,” the court placed the onus for initiation on plaintiff, providing one last opportunity to initiate the arbitration or face “sanctions including dismissal for failure to prosecute.”

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