Justia Arbitration & Mediation Opinion Summaries
Robinson Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, LLC v. Phillips
In this fifth appeal before the Supreme Court regarding a class action lawsuit stemming from two circuit court orders denying Appellant's motion to enforce arbitration agreements and its motion to compel class members with arbitration agreements to submit their claims to binding arbitration, holding that remand was necessary.After the Supreme Court's ruling in Phillips II, Appellant filed a motion to enforce arbitration agreements and to compel 197 residents with arbitration agreements to submit their claims to binding arbitration. After the ruling in Phillips III, Appellant moved to enforce arbitration agreements and to compel thirty-three residents with arbitration agreements to submit their claims to binding arbitration. The court entered an order with respect to both motions, from which Appellant appealed. The Supreme Court remanded the case with instructions, holding that the circuit court failed to provide the Supreme Court with specific findings with respect to each arbitration agreement and individual resident and that such findings were necessary for the Court to conduct a proper appellate review. View "Robinson Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, LLC v. Phillips" on Justia Law
Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. v. PDV Holding, Inc.
In this action to compel the issuance of a replacement stock certificate the Court of Chancery ordered PDV Holding, Inc. (PDVH), a Delaware corporation, to issue a replacement stock certificate conditioned upon Venezuela's state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), posting an unsecured bond in the amount of $10,000, holding that the relief sought is granted.In the main dispute, non-party Crystallex International Corporation sought to collect on an arbitration award by executing on PDVSA's U.S.-based assets, and the federal district court ordered a sale of PDVH's stock. PDVSA, the registered owner of all shares of PDVH's stock, filed this action seeking to compel the issuance of a replacement stock certificate representing all 1,000 shares of PDVH that PDVSA owned. The Court of Chancery ordered PDVH to issue a replacement stock certificate conditioned upon PDVSA posting an unsecured bond, holding that PDVH failed to demonstrate good cause for the Court to decline to issue a replacement stock certificate to PDVSA, and PDVSA's entitlement to a replacement stock certificate was conditioned upon its posting of an unsecured bond of $10,000 within seven business days. View "Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. v. PDV Holding, Inc." on Justia Law
Gandi-Kapoor v. Hone Capital LLC
The Court of Chancery denied CDC Upshot Ventures I, L.P.'s motion to dismiss this summary advancement proceeding under Rule 12(b)(1) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction after invoking an arbitration provision in its operating agreement, holding that because an arbitration provision does not deprive a court of subject matter jurisdiction, a party can waive a right to arbitrate by participating sufficiently in a court proceeding.The court granted summary judgment establishing Petitioner's right to receive advancements from CSC Upshot Ventures I, L.P. and determining that Upshot owed Petitioner specific amounts. After sanctions were imposed and Upshot still failed to pay, the court issued an order requiring Upshot to show cause why further sanctions should not be imposed. Upshot filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction in light of the arbitration provision. The Court of Chancery denied the motion for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, holding (1) the arbitration provision can be waived and whether a judicial conduct waiver has occurred is an issue of substantive arbitrability for the court to decide; (2) the arbitration provision in this case was insufficient to empower the arbitrator to decide whether a judicial conduct waiver has occurred; and (3) Upshot waived its right to arbitrate in this case. View "Gandi-Kapoor v. Hone Capital LLC" on Justia Law
Pagel, et al. v. Weikum
Jeffrey Weikum appealed a district court order and judgment denying his motion to compel arbitration, and granting Rodney Pagel and Scott Hager's motion for summary judgment. The parties agreed to dissolve their law firm, Pagel Weikum, PLLP, and entered into a Release and Settlement Agreement. The Agreement included an arbitration clause. Pagel and Hager filed suit against Weikum for breach of contract and conversion. Weikum moved to dismiss and compel arbitration. The North Dakota Supreme Court reversed, finding the arbitration clause at issue in the Agreement was broad, and not limited by any exceptions. The Court concluded the district court misinterpreted the Agreement by finding the claims raised were not arbitrable, and by denying the motion to compel arbitration of those claims. View "Pagel, et al. v. Weikum" on Justia Law
State of Cal. v. Alco Harvest
Plaintiff is a foreign worker hired by defendant Alco Harvesting LLC to work at farms owned by defendant and appellant Betteravia Farms. He later brought employment claims against appellants. Alco moved to compel arbitration pursuant to an arbitration agreement presented to and signed by Plaintiff at his orientation. The trial court found the agreement void and denied the motion. It considered arbitration a “material term and condition” of Plaintiff’s employment and as such, a job requirement that Alco should have disclosed during the H-2A certification process. The Second Appellate District affirmed. The court explained that Alco’s arbitration agreement required Plaintiff to forfeit his right to a jury trial in “any claim, dispute and/or controversy that [any] Employee may have against the Company . . . arising from, relating to or having any relationship or connection whatsoever with [or to the] Employee’s . . . employment by, or other association with the Company . . . .” The arbitration agreement also prohibited him from participating in any class action claims against Alco. Thus, the court considered the relinquishing of these rights as “material terms and conditions” of his employment. View "State of Cal. v. Alco Harvest" on Justia Law
Empres at Riverton, LLC v. Osborne
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court denying Wind River Rehabilitation and Wellness's motion to compel arbitration in this action alleging medical malpractice, holding that the district court erred in denying the motion to compel arbitration.Plaintiff, the wrongful death representative of Loy Forshee, filed this action against Wind River, where Forshee lived when he fell and broke his hip, alleging medical malpractice. Wind River moved to compel arbitration under the parties' arbitration agreement. The district court denied the motion, concluding that Wind River waived his right to arbitration by waiting fourteen months to compel arbitration. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the record did not support a conclusion that Wind River waived its right to arbitrate. View "Empres at Riverton, LLC v. Osborne" on Justia Law
RUAG Ammotec GmbH v. Archon Firearms, Inc.
The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court as to Appellants' motions to compel arbitration and remanded the case, holding that "where the nonsignatory seeking to compel arbitration demonstrates both the right to enforce the contract and that compelling another nonsignatory to arbitration is warranted under standard principles of contract law or estoppel, compelling arbitration is appropriate."At issue was whether a nonsignatory to a contract containing an arbitration clause can be compelled to participate in arbitration by another signatory. The district court denied both Appellants' first and second motions to compel arbitration. The Supreme Court reversed as to Appellants' first and second motions to compel arbitration, holding where a nonsignatory to a contract containing an arbitration provision moves to compel another nonsignatory to arbitrate, the nonsignatory seeking to compel arbitration must demonstrate the right to enforce the arbitration agreement and show that compelling the other nonsignatory to arbitration is warranted. View "RUAG Ammotec GmbH v. Archon Firearms, Inc." on Justia Law
Reliance Health Care, Inc. v. Mitchell
The Supreme Court dismissed this interlocutory appeal of a vacated class certification order and directed the circuit court to remand the case to address motions to compel arbitration, holding that this appeal was moot.Plaintiffs, who represented the estates of former residents of fourteen different nursing homes, alleged breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims against the nursing homes, in violation of the Arkansas Civil Rights act and the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The nursing homes moved to compel arbitration for all but two of the named plaintiffs, after which the plaintiffs moved for class certification. The circuit court granted Plaintiffs' motion for class certification without ruling on the motions to compel arbitration. The nursing homes brought an interlocutory appeal of the class-certification order and petitioned for writ of prohibition, mandamus, and certiorari. The Supreme Court granted the writ petition, vacating the order granting class certification, and ordered the circuit court to rule on the motions to compel before ruling on class certification, holding that the interlocutory appeal of the vacated class-certification order was moot. View "Reliance Health Care, Inc. v. Mitchell" on Justia Law
Brown v. GoJet Airlines, LLC
The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the circuit court overruling GoJet Airlines, LLC's motion to compel arbitration in this breach of contract action brought by Hampton Brown and remanded this case to compel arbitration, holding that the circuit court erred in refusing to compel arbitration.Brown, who had worked for GoJet as a pilot, filed a class action suit alleging that GoJet breached the parties' bonus agreement by failing to issue bonuses to him and other employees. In response, GoJet filed a motion to compel arbitration, arguing that the parties entered into a mutually binding and enforceable arbitration agreement requiring that this dispute be arbitrated. The circuit court overruled the circuit court's motion to compel arbitration. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment below, holding (1) the parties' agreement was governed by the Missouri Uniform Arbitration Agreement, and arbitration may be compelled under its provisions; (2) the circuit court erred by finding the arbitration agreement unenforceable due to its lack of statutory notice; and (3) Brown's motion to strike was overruled. View "Brown v. GoJet Airlines, LLC" on Justia Law
Najah Edmundson v. Klarna Inc.
Defendant Klarna, Inc. ("Klarna") provides a "buy now, pay later" service that allows shoppers to buy a product and pay for it in four equal installments over time without incurring any interest or fees. Plaintiff paid for two online purchases using Klarna. Plaintiff incurred $70 in overdraft fees. Plaintiff brought this action on behalf of herself and a class of similarly situated consumers, alleging that Klarna misrepresents and conceals the risk of bank-overdraft fees that consumers face when using its pay-over-time service and asserting claims for common-law fraud and violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practice Act ("CUTPA"). Klarna moved to compel arbitration. The district court denied Klarna's motion. The Second Circuit reversed he district court's order and remanded with instructions to grant Klarna's motion to compel arbitration. The court explained that when Plaintiff arrived at the Klarna Widget, she knew well that purchasing the GameStop item with Klarna meant that she was entering into a continuing relationship with Klarna, one that would endure at least until she repaid all four installments. The Klarna Widget provided clear notice that there were terms that would govern this continuing relationship. A reasonable internet user, therefore, would understand that finalizing the GameStop transaction, entering into a forward-looking relationship with Klarna, and receiving the benefit of Klarna's service would constitute assent to those terms. The court explained that Plaintiff was on inquiry notice that her "agreement to the payment terms," necessarily encompassed more than the information provided on the Klarna Widget, and the burden was then on her to find out to what terms she was accepting. View "Najah Edmundson v. Klarna Inc." on Justia Law