Ordinarily, if the arbitration agreement contains a clause delegating arbitrability questions to the arbitrator, the clause will be enforced and the court will let the arbitrator decide whether the dispute falls within the scope of the arbitration agreement. However, this case holds the court will decide if the assertion of arbitrability is wholly groundless, and in that event not compel arbitration. Here, a driver for both Uber and Lyft claimed that Uber tried to undermine Lyft and its drivers by making phantom requests for Lyft rides, causing Lyft drivers to lose time and money going to collect riders who never showed up. The claim arose solely from the plaintiff’s role as a Lyft driver, not from his role as an Uber driver. His arbitration agreement with Uber related only to his Uber employment, not his work for Lyft. So Uber’s motion to compel arbitration was properly denied.
California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 3 (Siggins, J.); June 8, 2018; 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 531