United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Dr. Amir Kaki, M.D., and Dr. Mahir Elder, M.D., Plaintiffs,
Tenet Healthcare Corporation, et al., Defendants.
R. Grand U.S. Magistrate Judge
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN
PART DEFENDANTS' RENEWED MOTION TO
COMPEL ARBITRATION AND DISMISS OR STAY LITIGATION  AND
DENYING AS MOOT DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS
AND COMPEL ARBITRATION 
J. TARNOW, JUDGE
two cardiologists formerly employed by Defendants, allege
that Defendants engaged in retaliation within the meaning of
the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3730
(“FCA”), when they took adverse employment action
against them. They also allege a number of state law causes
of action, including violations of the Michigan Medicaid
False Claims Act, retaliatory discharge in violation of
Michigan public policy, retaliatory removal of clinical
privileges in violation of Michigan public policy, false
light defamation, violation of the Bullard-Plawecki Employee
Right to Know Act, tortious interference with prospective
economic relationships, and intentional infliction of
have moved to dismiss the case and compel arbitration,
arguing that many of these claims are subject to mandatory
arbitration provisions in contracts signed by the doctors.
The Court will grant this motion in part and compel
arbitration on the sole cause of action arising under federal
law, Count I, but it will decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over the state law causes of
Dr. Kaki, is a cardiologist specializing nuclear cardiology,
internal medicine, and interventional cardiology. He was a
clinical associate professor of medicine at Wayne State
University School of Medicine and had had staff privileges at
the Detroit Medical Center (“DMC”) since 2012.
(First Am. Compl. ¶ 16). In January 2014, Dr. Kaki was
appointed as Director of the Cardiac Catherization Services
Unit at the new “DMC Heart Hospital” located at
the VHS Harper-Hutzel Hospital (“VHS”).
(Id. at ¶ 17).
Dr. Elder, is an interventionalist cardiologist who
specializes in cardiology, endovascular cardiology, nuclear
cardiology, internal medicine, and interventional cardiology.
(Id. at ¶ 24). He served as the Director of the
Cardiac Care Unit, Ambulatory Services Program, Cardiac CT
Angiogram, PERT Program, Carotid Stenting Program, and
Endovascular Medicine at the DMC Heart Hospital.
(Id. at. ¶ 25). He has also held a Clinical
Professorship at Wayne State Medical School and Michigan
State University. (Id. at ¶ 27).
Tenet Healthcare Corporation (“Tenet”), a
for-profit company, bought Defendants DMC and VHS in 2013,
and it owned the DMC Heart Hospital from its July 2014
opening. (Id. at ¶ 36). The other corporate
defendants are VHS of Michigan, Inc., and VHS Sinai-Grace
Hospital, Inc. Additionally, there are several individual
Defendants. Anthony Tedeschi has been the CEO of DMC since
2017 (Id. at ¶ 9). Scott Steiner was the CEO of
DMC from 2012 until his retirement on February 8, 2019.
(Id. at ¶ 10). Eric Evans was the President of
Hospital Operation for Tenet from March 2016 to December
2018. (Id. at ¶ 11). Conrad Mallett, Jr. was
the CEO of Sinai Grace Hospital Since August 14, 2017.
(Id. at ¶ 12). John Levy is the chair of the
Joint Conference Committee at the DMC. (Id. at
First Amended Complaint provides a narrative wherein the two
cardiologists refused to participate in the drastic
scale-down of quality and safety that Tenet instituted when
it purchased DMC in 2013. By their account, the cardiologists
continually spoke out against unsafe, unethical, and illegal
medical practices, including the maintenance of unsterile
surgical tools (¶¶ 49-55), cuts to the life-saving
State Blood Lab from the Cardiac Catherization Unit (¶
57), dangerous and unnecessary medical procedures
(¶¶ 60-62), fraud with regard to physician coverage
in the Cardiac Team One program (¶¶ 63-68), and
fraudulent billing under Medicaid and Medicare (¶ 48).
To silence Plaintiffs and retaliate against their
insubordination, Defendants hired a law firm - Latham &
Watkins - to conduct a review of the doctors in order to
provide a pretext to dismiss them and terminate their
contracts. (Id. at ¶ 72). On October 1, 2018,
Plaintiffs were terminated. DMC sent an email to 5, 000 DMC
employees stating that the cardiologists were fired for
“violations of our standards of conduct.”
(Id. at ¶ 79).
filed suit on March 25, 2019. [Dkt. # 1]. On April 17, 2019,
Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss and Compel Arbitration
. Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint  on June 4,
2019, and Defendants filed a Renewed Motion to Compel
Arbitration and Dismiss or Stay Litigation  on June 18,
2019. The Court held a hearing on the motions on July 22,
2019. Per the Court's instruction, both parties filed
supplemental briefs [31, 32] on August 5, 2019.
the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 2,
(“FAA”), a written agreement to arbitrate
disputes which arises out of a contract involving
transactions in interstate commerce “shall be valid,
irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist
at law or in equity for the revocation of any
contract.” Stout v. J.D. Byrider, 228 F.3d
709, 714 (6th Cir. 2000). “[A]ny doubts regarding
arbitrability should be resolved in favor of
arbitration.” Fazio v. Lehman Bros., 340 F.3d
386, 392 (6th Cir. 2003) (internal citation omitted).
“Despite this strong presumption in favor of
arbitration, “arbitration is a matter of contract
between the parties, and one cannot be required to submit to
arbitration a ...