Case News

Dispute Resolution & Arbitration Case Summaries

[12/08] Howeth v. Coffelt
Dismissing an appeal in a case where neighbors who shared a driveway couldn't peacefully enjoy their easement and sued each other, resulting in a settlement agreement that stipulated to the entry of a judgment to resolve the lawsuit and purporting to allow the parties to collect a fine for refusal to comply because the court's determination that it lacked jurisdiction to enforce the fine in a filing made on the original action because a consent judgment, such as occurs pursuant to a settlement agreement, is not appealable.

[11/30] Yang v. Dongwan Industries
Affirming the district court's order denying a motion to compel arbitration in a maritime action arising from the death of a seaman in the sinking of a fishing vessel because the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards does not allow non-signatories or non-parties to compel arbitration or under the Federal Arbitration Act, which expressly exempts contracts of employment of seamen.

[11/30] State Farm General Insurance Company v. Watts Regulator Co.
Affirming the trial court's denial of defendant's motion to compel arbitration in a case where the parties had signed an arbitration agreement with a third party many years prior that hadn't included product liability claims at the time, but was amended to include such suits in the intervening period because there was no vested right to arbitration where the parties agreed to the contractual terms and rules determined by a third party.

[11/29] Sayta v. Chu
Vacating a trial court order seeking liquidated damages and the enforcement of a settlement agreement entered into by parties to a prior case involving efforts to terminate the plaintiff's tenancy because the parties had failed to request, at the termination of the initial case, that the trial court retain jurisdiction to enforce the settlement and did not seek to set aside the dismissals, so the court lacked jurisdiction to rule on the motion to enforce.

[11/28] Hutcheson v. Eskaton Fountainwood Lodge
Affirming the trial court's denial of a motion by a residential care facility to compel arbitration because the attorney-in-fact's decision to admit their ward to an elder care facility was a health care decision that they were not authorized to undertake, rendering the facility's arbitration clause unenforceable.

[11/27] Julian v. Glenair, Inc.
Affirming the denial of a motion to compel arbitration of respondents' Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act claims because an agreement to arbitrate executed during their employment but before the employee was statutorily authorized to bring such a claim was an unenforceable pre-dispute waiver.

[11/22] Citizens of Humanity v. Applied Underwriters, Inc.
Affirming the trial court's order denying a petition to compel arbitration in a dispute involving the plaintiff's purchase of a workers' compensation insurance package, pursuant to which the plaintiffs entered into a Reinsurance Participation Agreement with a company affiliated with the defendants that contained an arbitration agreement, because the affiliated party had dropped out of the litigation, leaving the defendant without a basis to compel.

[11/21] Ouadani v. TF FInal Mile LLC
Affirming the district court's denial of a motion to compel arbitration in the case of a man whose work arrangement was constructed to avoid characterizing him as either an independent contractor or an employee of two companies because the worker was not a party to an agreement between the two companies involved and the doctrine of equitable estoppel applied.

[11/08] Diaz v. Professional Community Management, Inc.
Concluding that a defendant and their counsel unilaterally created an appeal-able order by making a motion in bad faith with the intention of creating a series of appeals that would forestall and damage the ability to proceed to trial and affirmed the denial of a motion to compel arbitration filed 11 days before the scheduled trial on its merits and imposing monetary sanctions on the defense an counsel for bringing a frivolous appeal.

[10/26] Baxter v. Genworth North America Corporation
Affirming the trial court's denial of a motion to compel arbitration in a wrongful termination suit because they agreed that the arbitration agreement at issue was both procedurally and substantively unconscionable because signing the agreement was a condition of employment and the procedural deadlines shortened the statute of limitations, accelerated hearing procedures to the employee's disadvantage, and precluded the meaningful opportunity for prelitigation investigation.

[10/23] Yu v. Hasaki Restaurant, Inc.
Granting leave to file a petition and granting that petition upon determining that a timely filed notice of appeal is sufficient to invoke appellate jurisdiction over a Section 1292(b) petition in the case of a dispute between a sushi chef and the restaurant where they worked.

[10/17] Beneli v. NLRB
In a labor action, the NLRB's decision to make its new standard for deferring to an arbitration decision prospective only, and not apply it retroactively to petitioner's case, is affirmed where the decision conforms with the relevant analysis under Oil, Chem, & Atomic Workers Int'l Union Local 1-547 v. NLRB, 842 F.2d 1141 (9th Cir. 1988).

[10/17] Melendez v. San Francisco Baseball Assoc.
In a wage and hour dispute between a security guard and his employer, the San Francisco Giants, the trial court's denial of defendant's motion to compel arbitration is reversed where: 1) arbitration is not compelled by the collective bargaining agreement; but 2) is required under the Labor Relations Management Act, 29 U.S.C. section 185(a).

[09/26] Sargon Enterprises, Inc. v. Browne George Ross LLP
Reversing in part the trial court's confirmation of an arbitrator determination that a legal malpractice claim had been barred by an earlier release of claims entered into by the parties and that the filing of a malpractice action in superior court resulted in a breach of contract because the arbitrator erred in finding that an arbitration agreement included a promise to forego litigation because the plaintiff had a statutory right under the California Arbitration Act to seek a preliminary determination of arbitrability from a court.

[09/25] Mission Beverage Company v. Pabst Brewing Company, LLC
Affirming the trial court's denial of a beer brewer's motion to strike a complaint filed by a distributor who alleged breach of contract in the termination of their distribution agreement because the cancellation of a contract that is expected to be followed by negotiation and possibly arbitration doesn't qualify as protected activity under the anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) statute and the ousted distributor's suit did not lack minimal merit on account of its termination and compensation clauses.

[09/25] Mission Beverage Company v. Pabst Brewing Company, LLC
Affirming the trial court's denial of a beer brewer's motion to strike a complaint filed by a distributor who alleged breach of contract in the termination of their distribution agreement because the cancellation of a contract that is expected to be followed by negotiation and possibly arbitration doesn't qualify as protected activity under the anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) statute and the ousted distributor's suit did not lack minimal merit on account of its termination and compensation clauses.

[09/13] Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies, Inc.
Affirming a district court ruling denying motions to compel arbitration between the plaintiff and defendant where the plaintiff had an arbitration agreement with the intervening plaintiff because the plaintiff does not rely upon its agreements with the intervening plaintiff in asserting its claims.

[09/11] US ex rel Welch v. My Left Foot Children's Therapy, LLC
Affirming the denial of the district court to enforce arbitration in the case of a former employee who alleged that her former employer violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by presenting fraudulent Medicaid claims because the arbitration agreement between them did not encompass FCA actions.

[09/05] White v. Sunoco, Inc.
Affirming a district court denial of a motion to compel arbitration in a lawsuit alleging fraud on behalf of a putative class because the defendant company was not a signatory to and was not mentioned in a credit card agreement entered into with a third party not named in the lawsuit that contained the allegedly applicable arbitration clause in a lawsuit involving a gas rewards card that did not result in the 5 cent per gallon discount Sunoco had promised.

[09/05] In Re: Henson and Cintron
Granting writ of mandamus and vacating district court orders staying the case and compelling arbitration in a case that asks whether a middleman for internet-based advertisements could invoke the arbitration provision in a contract between the plaintiffs and their wireless service provider because the doctrine of equitable estoppel had been incorrectly applied.

[08/31] Employer Trustees of Western Pennsylvania
Reversing the District Court's determination that a trust agreement didn't permit the submission of a dispute into arbitration because the Labor Management Relations Act explicitly requires employee benefit trust funds to include a mechanism for arbitrating deadlocks among trustees that develop in the course of the fund's administration and the disputes central to the case are both within the purview of the parties' agreement to arbitrate.

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