United States District Court, D. Nevada
MOTION TO STAY [ECF NO. 14]
FERENBACH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiff Fremont Emergency Services' Motion
to Stay Proceedings Pending Resolution of Motion to Remand.
(ECF No. 14). For the reasons discussed below,
Plaintiff's motion is denied.
alleged in the operative complaint, Plaintiff is “is a
professional emergency medicine services group practice that
staffs  emergency departments…throughout Clark
County, Nevada.” (ECF No. 1-1 at 2). Defendants are
entities, including several named “United Healthcare,
” related to paying for and administering healthcare.
(Id. at 2-3). Plaintiff's “physicians
provide emergency medicine services to all patients,
regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay, including
to patients with insurance coverage issued, administered
and/or underwritten by United HealthCare.”
(Id. at 4). “There is no written agreement
between United HealthCare and [Plaintiff] for the healthcare
claims at issue in this litigation… Notwithstanding
the lack of a written agreement” Plaintiff alleges that
“an implied-in-fact agreement exists between the
parties.” (Id. at 5). “Beginning on July
1, 2017, [Defendants] arbitrarily began drastically reducing
the rates at which they paid [Plaintiff] for emergency
services for some claims, but not others.”
(Id.). Plaintiff alleges that,
38. Through the parties' conduct and respective
undertaking of obligations concerning emergency medicine
services provided by Fremont to the UH Parties' Patients,
the parties implicitly agreed, and Fremont had a reasonable
expectation and understanding, that the UH Parties would
reimburse Fremont for non-participating claims at rates in
accordance with the standards acceptable under Nevada law and
in accordance with rates the UH Parties pay for other
substantially identical claims also submitted by Fremont.
39. Under Nevada common law, including the doctrine of
quantum meruit, the UH Parties, by undertaking responsibility
for payment to Fremont for the services rendered to United
HealthCare Patients, impliedly agreed to reimburse Plaintiffs
at rates, at a minimum, equivalent to the reasonable value of
the professional emergency medical services provided by
40. The UH Parties, by undertaking responsibility for payment
to Fremont for the services rendered to the UH Parties'
Patients, impliedly agreed to reimburse Fremont at rates, at
a minimum, equivalent to the usual and customary rate or
alternatively for the reasonable value of the professional
emergency medical services provided by Fremont.
(Id. at 8). Plaintiff brings claims against
Defendants for breach of implied-in-fact contract, tortious
breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair
dealing, unjust enrichment, violation of NRS 686A.020 and
686A.310, violation of Nevada prompt pay statutes and
regulations, consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices,
and declaratory judgment. (Id. at 8-17).
filed its complaint in Nevada state court. (ECF No. 1-1).
Defendants removed the case to this Court. (ECF No. 1).
Defendants argue that Plaintiff's claims are preempted
ERISA due to “the fact that numerous employee welfare
benefit plans are implicated.” (Id. at 3).
Plaintiff has filed a motion to remand the case to state
court, which is currently pending before Judge Dorsey. (ECF
has also filed a motion to stay. (ECF No. 14). Initially,
Plaintiff asked that the motion to remand be decided on an
expedited basis and that all other proceedings be stayed
until the Court ruled on the motion to remand. (Id.
at 2). Judge Dorsey denied the motion to expedite briefing
and referred the remained of the motion to me. (ECF No. 17).
As an initial matter, I am now construing the motion to stay
as a motion to stay discovery. The motion to stay discusses
staying a pending motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 14). The motion
to dismiss (ECF No. 4) is also before Judge Dorsey. I make no
recommendation regarding what order Judge Dorsey will use to
address the motion to dismiss and motion to
remand. The only remaining issue in the case is a
potential stay of discovery.
motion to stay, Plaintiff argues that “this action
involves disputes concerning the rate of payment rather than
the right to payment” and “disputes about the
rate of payment are not governed by ERISA and are not subject
to complete preemption.” (ECF No. 14 at 3).
“[T]he claims arise not from an employee benefit plan,
but [Defendants'] statutory and common law duty to pay
for its Members' emergency services at usual and
customary rates or, alternatively, for the reasonable value
of services rendered.” (Id. at 5).
“Given the existence of a threshold issue of concerning
subject matter jurisdiction, [Plaintiff] respectfully
requests that the Court stay all proceedings…until the
Court has had an opportunity to adjudicate the Motion to
Remand.” (Id. at 3).
response, Defendants argue that “the granting of a
motion to remand does not obviate the need for
discovery.” (ECF No. 20 at 4). Defendants asserts
discovery is needed into the types of medial claims that were
denied or underpaid. (Id. at 7-8). Finally,
Defendant argues that the motion to remand will likely not be
granted because “the only legal duties owed by
Defendants (if any) flow from the rights [Plaintiff] has as
the assignee of Defendants' plan members. Since those
rights are directly based on and related to employee benefit
plans governed by ERISA, [Plaintiff's] claims are
completely preempted.” Id. at 11).
reply, Plaintiff asserts that, “if discovery proceeds,
[Plaintiff] will be at a disadvantage because it will not
have the benefit of [Defendants'] answer and affirmative
defenses and will be unduly hampered in prosecuting this
action.” (ECF No. 24 at 5). Plaintiff argues that a
motion to remand is dispositive, no discovery is ...