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McDougle v. Kemper Corporate Services, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi.

May 31, 2017

MARY McDOUGLE, Individually, and as Administrator of the Estate of Michael D. McDougle Sr., Deceased; and the Estate of Michael D. McDougle Sr., PLAINTIFFS
v.
KEMPER CORPORATE SERVICES, INC. d/b/a UNION NATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANT

          OPINION AND ORDER

          William H. Barbour, Jr. United States District Judge

         This cause is before the Court on the Motion of Defendant to Compel Arbitration and to Stay Proceedings Pending Arbitration. Plaintiff has not responded to the subject Motion, and the time period for so doing has expired. Having considered the pleadings, the attachments thereto, as well as supporting and opposing authorities, the Court finds the Motion to Compel Arbitration is well taken and should be granted, and judicial proceedings should be stayed in accordance with 9 U.S.C. § 3.

         I. Factual Background and Procedural History

         In August of 2010, Michael McDougle, Sr. (“Michael McDougle”), applied for a life insurance policy from Kemper Corporate Services, Inc., d/b/a Union National Life Insurance Company (“Union National”). As part of the application, Michael McDougle signed an “Acknowledgment of Arbitration Agreement”, whereby he acknowledged, inter alia: (1) the Policy for which he was applying contained a binding arbitration agreement and waiver of right to trial by jury, and (2) that any dispute related to the Policy would be decided by an arbitrator instead of a judge and/or jury. See Mot. to Compel Arbitration [Docket No. 4], Ex. 3. The Policy, which provided life insurance benefits in the amount of $10, 000.00, was issued in September of 2010, and named Michael McDougle as the insured, and his mother, Mary McDougle (“Mary McDougle”), as the Policy owner and primary beneficiary. The subject Policy contains an “Arbitration Agreement and Waiver of Right to Trial by Jury”, which provides, in part:

This Arbitration Agreement and Waiver of Right to Trial by Jury requires that any dispute involving this Policy between the Company, and the insured, owner, beneficiary or any other party who has an interest as a claimant (“Claimant”), must be resolved through binding arbitration, this includes, but is not limited to, disputes regarding the following:
Whether a Policy Dispute must be arbitrated under this Arbitration Agreement;
Interpretation of this Policy;
Payment or denials of claims;
Any claim alleging fraud, deceit, suppression, misrepresentation or omission of any material fact in the sale of the Policy;
Any other matter arising out of or relating in any way to this Policy or the Claimant's relationship with the Company, its agents, servants, employees, officers, directors or affiliate companies.

         Any arbitration will be administered by the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) in accordance with:

The AAA's commercial dispute resolution procedures;
The AAA's supplementary procedures for consumer-related disputes; and
Any other applicable laws of the state in which this Policy ...

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