under the contract. According to Childs, his dispute with the Nets does not arise under the contract, but instead arises from the misrepresentations that Willis Reed allegedly made to Childs during the NBA's lockout, prior to his contract with the Nets. Childs thus argues that his present dispute arises independently of, and not under the present contract.
Childs' argument is completely unpersuasive. When Willis Reed allegedly made misrepresentations to Childs, those representations were not actionable. It was not until the Nets allegedly dishonored those representations that Childs' cause of action arose. Because the Nets' dishonoring of Reeds' alleged promises could only have occurred in the contract, and because it is an alleged defect in the contract itself (which Childs signed) that forms the basis for Childs' claims, it appears clear, as a factual matter, that Childs' claims arise only under the contract. See Mutual Benefit Life Ins. v. Zimmerman, 783 F. Supp. 853, 868 (D.N.J.) ("The focus is on the 'factual allegations in the complaint rather than the legal causes of action asserted.'") (quoting Genesco, Inc. v. T. Kakiuchi & Co., Ltd., 815 F.2d 840, 846 (2d Cir. 1987)), aff'd, 970 F.2d 899 (3d Cir. 1992).
Moreover, Childs' claims in this action require an interpretation or construction of the integration clause in his contract with the Nets. As noted above, that clause specifies that there are no undisclosed agreements of any kind, express or implied, oral or written . . . that have not been disclosed to the NBA . . . involving consideration of any kind to be paid, furnished or made available to the Player. Childs' claim that Willis Reed made representations to him, despite the integration clause in the contract, would therefore require a construction or interpretation of the integration clause. Plainly, the parties intended this type of dispute to be resolved through arbitration, as evidenced by the clear language of the arbitration clause requiring arbitration for disputes concerning interpretations of the contract. Accordingly, I conclude that the parties intended to submit the claims at issue in this case to arbitration.
I have determined both that a valid agreement to arbitrate existed between the parties, and that the parties intended for the specific dispute at issue to be arbitrated. Therefore, Childs' claims must be submitted to an arbitrator. See Painewebber Inc. v. Hartmann, 921 F.2d 507, 511 (3d Cir. 1990) ("If . . . the court determines that an agreement exists and that the dispute falls within the scope of the agreement, it then must refer the matter to arbitration without considering the merits of the dispute.")
For the foregoing reasons, the defendants' motion to dismiss on preemption grounds is denied but the defendants' motion to compel arbitration is granted.
ACKERMAN, District Judge:
This matter having come before the court on the motion by defendant Meadowlands Basketball Associates, d/b/a New Jersey Nets ("Nets") and by defendant National Basketball Association ("NSA") to dismiss plaintiff Chris Childs' complaint, or in the alternative to compel arbitration, and this court having carefully considered the parties' submissions; and for the reasons stated in an opinion issued on this same day; and for good cause shown;
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED on this 4th day of February, 1997, that the motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint is denied;
AND IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the motion to compel arbitration is granted;
AND IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that all proceedings in this matter are stayed pending the arbitration of the plaintiff's claims.
Harold A. Ackerman, U.S. District Judge