Judicial Notice of Internet Evidence — Private Business Website’s Discussion of Methods of Payment Accepted

Frankfort GGNSC Frankfort, LLC v. Tracy, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41466 (E.D. Ky. Mar. 31, 2015):

Doris Christopher, a former resident of the Golden Living Center facility in Frankfort, Kentucky, signed an arbitration agreement prior to moving into the facility. Sadly, Defendants allege that Ms. Christopher suffered physical and emotional injuries due to inadequate care that resulted in an expedited, unnatural deterioration in her health and in her eventual death. The parties now contest how and where the claims arising out of these alleged injuries are to be adjudicated.

Defendants first argue that the arbitration agreement does not evidence a transaction involving interstate commerce, but is rather an agreement between Kentucky citizens and about services in Kentucky. [R. 4-1 at 29.] Because the arbitration agreement was not a condition of Ms. Christopher's admission to the facility, Defendant argues that it should be considered separate and apart from the admissions agreement which has more obvious ties to interstate commerce. [Id.] Plaintiffs disagree, contending that the arbitration agreement is part of the admissions agreement. Because the nursing home facility receives reimbursements from Medicaid and Medicare, houses residents from out-of-state and purchases supplies from out-of-state vendors they argue that the agreement involves commerce. ***

Contrary to Defendant's argument, the arbitration agreement is only one piece of the [*26]  larger admissions agreement. The arbitration agreement says as much:

The parties to the Arbitration Agreement acknowledge and agree that upon execution, this Arbitration Agreement becomes part of the Admission Agreement, and that the Admission Agreement evidences a transaction involving interstate commerce governed by the Federal Arbitration Act.  [R. 1-2.] As in Stacy and Caudill, the arbitration agreement "is a component of a larger contract that evidences a transaction involving interstate commerce." Caudill, 2014 WL 3420783, at *9; (quoting Stacy, 2014 WL 2807524, at *14). The ties to interstate commerce are obvious.

First, a nursing home's acceptance of Medicare or Medicaid has consistently been found sufficient to establish an arbitration agreement's ties to interstate commerce. See Taulbee, 2013 WL 4041174, at *10-11; Hanley, 2014 WL 1333204, at *8. As noted in both Taulbee and Hanley, Golden Living's website confirms that it accepts payments from Medicare. The Court takes judicial notice of this fact. See http://www.goldenlivingcenters.com/expert-thinking/paying-for-healthcare.aspx.

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