September 19, 2019

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Court Directs Arbitration Where Plaintiff Acknowledges the Parties Agreed to Do So

The plaintiff entered into a retail installment contract with New Century Auto Sales for the purchase of a used car. The contract included an arbitration provision that stated that either the plaintiff or the defendants may elect to resolve any claim by neutral, binding arbitration and not by a court action. The court explained that the Federal Arbitration Act requires courts to “rigorously enforce” arbitration agreements, but arbitration clauses are still subject to the same defenses and bars as other contract provisions. The court further explained that a party cannot be required to arbitrate if the party has not agreed to it, and the burden is on the party resisting arbitration to prove this. Here, the plaintiff acknowledged that the defendant invoked the arbitration provision and therefore the case could properly be submitted to arbitration. In view of the plaintiff’s acknowledgement, the court directed the parties to proceed to arbitration.

Chisholm v. New Century Auto Sales, Inc., No. 1:19-cv-01395 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 23, 2019).

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About this Author

Rachel Schwartz Insurance Attorney

Rachel J. Schwartz represents property and casualty insurance industry clients in litigation and counsels them on varied coverage matters, including coverage disputes arising under Commercial General Liability and Directors & Officer policies.

Rachel drafts pleadings, discovery requests and responses, and motions regarding declaratory judgment actions. She reviews insurance policies and conducts legal research on various insurance coverage topics, including late notice, policy exclusions, duty to defend, allocation, and NY Ins. L. 3420(d). She prepares tenders, carrier position...