In United States ex rel. Paul Dorsa v. Miraca Life Sciences (6th Cir. , No. 20-5007, 12/30/2020), Paul Dorsa filed suit against Miraca Life Sciences, Inc., alleging unlawful retaliation under the False Claims Act, and the U.S. government intervened. Miraca sought to dismiss the retaliation claim because Dorsa—a former Miraca executive—had agreed to binding arbitration as a provision of his employment agreement with the company. Notably, the company’s motion sought dismissal, as opposed to a motion for a stay proceedings or to compel arbitration. Judge Friedman of the Middle District of Tennessee denied Miraca’s motion to dismiss because it found that the arbitration clause did not cover Dorsa’s retaliation claim. Miraca appealed the district court’s order.
The Sixth Circuit dismissed the employer’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). The court held the FAA grants appellate jurisdiction for orders “refusing a stay of action” or “denying a petition . . . to order arbitration” and thus the employer’s motion to dismiss did not trigger jurisdiction under the FAA because it did not seek to stay Dorsa’s lawsuit or compel arbitration.