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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Melissa Mancill worked for Adhi-Lakshmi Corp. and CNC Investments as an apartment manager. In September 2002, Mancill slipped and fell during an apartment inspection. She sued Adhi and CNC, who owned the apartment building, since they were non-subscribers to workers’ compensation insurance. After conducting discovery, Adhi and CNC moved to compel arbitration. They pointed to an employee handbook Mancill signed that contemplated arbitration of employment claims. The trial court denied the motion to compel, specifically finding the Mancill was not a borrowed servant of CNC. (Mancill filed a second amended petition, joined by her husband, naming only Adhi as a defendant.) Adhi filed for a writ of mandamus, seeking to have the order denying arbitration set aside. HOLDING:Writ conditionally granted. In addition to the arbitration provision of the employee handbook, the court notes other provisions acknowledged by Mancill’s signature. One provision stated that for purposes of the manual, all references to CNC employees should be understood as including all affiliated property employees as well, and that it should be understood that employment with an affiliated property does not constitute direct employment with CNC. “Affiliated Property Employee is defined as any employee holding a position with a property managed by CNC Investments, Inc. and should be considered as being employed by that particular property,” the provision continued. An Adhi employee stated in an affidavit that the apartments where Mancill fell are owned by Adhi and managed by CNC. CNC has the right to supervise and control the daily activities of the employees, such as Mancill. The employee also noted that Adhi specifically relies on the CDC employee handbook as part of the contractual agreement between CNC and Adhi. The court finds that while Mancill was not an employee of CNC, she did sign the employee handbook that contained the arbitration provision and agreed to follow all of the rules of the handbook. Adhi adopted the CNC employee handbook as its own. CNC was responsible for the management of the apartment complex where Mancill worked, which were owned by Adhi. “[Mancill] clearly meets the employee of the”affiliated property’ language contained in the first paragraph of the Employee Handbook. . . . We find that, under the cited definition section of the Handbook, [Mancill] was an actual party to the arbitration provision, and was bound by its terms. Since we have found she was an actual party, an analysis of the law pertaining to applicability of arbitration clauses to non-parties is unnecessary.” The court adds that the petition for writ of mandamus never includes discussion of Mancill’s husband’s claims, so the court does not rule on whether his claims are subject to arbitration. OPINION:McKeithen, C.J.; McKeithen, C.J., Burgess and Gaultney, JJ. CONCURRENCE AND DISSENT:Burgess, J. The author concurs in the denial of the petition for mandamus as it applies to Mancill’s husband, but dissents from the rest of the ruling. The author finds that Adhi raised the issue of waiver in their response and the trial judge could have denied the motion to compel arbitration on that issue. “Between the filing of [Adhi's] amended answer and its motion to compel arbitration, the [Mancills] expended countless hours in formulating documents, obtaining responses, evaluating those responses and dealt with other normal pre-trial matters. For anyone to claim this expenditure of time and effort is not prejudicial to the [Mancills] is not realistic.”

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