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Arbitration Clause

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Joining a recent string of other cases, this decision refuses to follow Felisilda v. FCA US LLC (2020) 53 Cal.App.5th 486, and holds instead that a standard California car sale contract with an arbitration clause does not require the car buyer to arbitrate his warranty claims or Song Beverly Act claims against the car's manufacturer. Read More

This decision holds that Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana (2022) 596 U.S. 639 did not undermine McGill v. Citibank, N.A. (2017) 2 Cal.5th 945 or Blair v. Rent-A-Center, Inc. (9th Cir. 2019) 928 F.3d 819 which held that Rent-A-Center's arbitration clause was unenforceable under McGill.  Viking River Cruises dealt with PAGA suits which are different from public injunctions. Read More

This decision holds that the Court of Appeals the de novo standard of review to an order denying a nonsignatory's motion to compel arbitration by invoking equitable estoppel.  It also holds that 14 C.F.R. § 253.10 which forbids air carriers from including forum selection clauses in their contracts of carriage does not forbid an airline from relying on an arbitration… Read More

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in holding that plaintiff could not have validly entered into a contract with an arbitration clause when the contract was 21 pages, the review period was 38 seconds and through a cell phone, and plaintiff was 81 years old with virtually no technological ability. Furthermore, plaintiff's income was limited; she was careful… Read More

Following Mejia v. DACM, Inc. (2020) 54 Cal.App.5th 691 and Maldonado v. Fast Auto Loans (2021) 60 Cal.App.5th 710 and rejecting Hodges v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC (9th Cir. 2021) 21 F.4th 535, this decision holds that a suit alleging UCL and CLRA claims and seeking an injunction against allegedly false advertising which would benefit both existing and future customers… Read More

The trial court correctly denied enforcement of the employer's arbitration agreement.  The arbitration agreement was procedurally unconscionable both because it was an adhesion contract in the employment context and because the way it was presented to the prospective employee for electronic signature made it difficult for her to read before signing.  The agreement was substantively unconscionable in containing a confidentiality… Read More

The trial court correctly denied defendant's motion to compel arbitration despite the agreement's delegation clause because plaintiff, a minor, disaffirmed all agreements with defendant pursuant to Family Code 6710.  The disaffirmance voided not only the underlying agreement and its arbitration clause but also its delegation provision.  Plaintiff's disaffirmance of any agreement with defendant was sufficient to disaffirm the delegation clause… Read More

This decision affirms a trial court's denial of defendant elder care facility's motion to compel arbitration.  The arbitration agreement was procedurally unconscionable because the arbitration clause was buried in a lengthy document about other matters, not presented as a separate agreement or marked in any manner to draw attention to it.  Also, the plaintiff was under extreme time pressure to… Read More

Health Net's arbitration clause did not satisfy H&S Code 1363.1's requirements.  The enrollment form did not clearly that the plan required arbitration of disputes because it said that the arbitration clause didn't apply if the plan was governed by ERISA--and the enrolling employee would have no way to determine whether ERISA applied.  Also, because of intervening text about ERISA plans,… Read More

The trial court correctly denied Mattson's motion to compel arbitration of Applied's suit against it for violation of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Mattson had hired Lai away from Applied.  Lai's employment agreement with Applied contained an arbitration clause.  Mattson was not a party to that contract and could not enforce it on a equitable estoppel basis since Applied's claim… Read More

Following Department of Fair Employment & Housing v. Cisco Systems, Inc. (2022) 82 Cal.App.5th 93 and EEOC v. Waffle House Inc. (2002) 122 S.Ct. 754, this decision holds that the People of the State of California (as represented by the Attorney General and two District Attorneys) and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement cannot be required to arbitrate claims that… Read More

Agreeing with Montemayor v. Ford Motor Co. (2023) 92 Cal.App.5th 958 and other recent cases refusing to follow Felisilda v. FCA US LLC (2020) 53 Cal.App.5th 486, this decision holds that a standard California car sale contract with an arbitration clause does not require the car buyer to arbitrate his warranty claims or Song Beverly Act claims against the car's… Read More

The district court did not err in denying defendant's motion to compel arbitration of plaintiff's claim that defendant discriminated against her in denying her a consolidation loan to combine her two existing student loans.  Defendant was judicially estopped from relying on the arbitration clause in the second loan because at an earlier hearing on whether that clause was unconscionable, defendant… Read More

The district court erred in holding that the delegation clause in the arbitration agreement in this case was unconscionable and therefore unenforceable.  The district court so ruled because the arbitration agreement also provided that if, for any reason, the dispute was not arbitrated, the parties waived a jury trial.  Such a pre-dispute waiver of jury trial is unenforceable under California… Read More

Under McGill v. Citibank, N.A. (2017) 2 Cal.5th 945, the trial court properly denied defendant's motion to compel arbitration because the arbitration clause forbade award of a public injunction in any forum.  Contrary to the defendant's argument, its arbitration agreement did not authorize the arbitrator to award a public injunction.  It provided instead that arbitration is to be “conducted only… Read More

Kinder was a patient at defendant's residential skilled nursing facility.  The trial court correctly denied a motion to compel arbitration of Kinder's personal injury claim because she did not sign the facility's arbitration agreement.  Instead, her adult child signed for her.  The facility produced no evidence to show that the signer had actual or ostensible authority to sign for Kinder. … Read More

Kaiser's arbitration clause satisfied H&S Code 1363.1's requirement that a health plan's arbitration clause be prominently displayed immediately before the patient's signature.  The enrollment was by computer.  The arbitration clause appeared just before a button marked "save" and a warning that by hitting that button, the patient would be agreeing to Kaiser's terms and conditions and enrolling in the health… Read More

Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela (2019) 139 S.Ct. 1407 only held that ambiguity could not be construed against drafter for purposes of determining whether the parties had agreed to classwide arbitration.  It did not hold that the construction against drafter principle is inapplicable to other types of ambiguities in the arbitration agreement.  In any event, there was no ambiguity in… Read More

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