Thursday, September 17, 2020
As we’ve lined, courts generally decline to implement arbitration clauses regardless of federal public coverage favoring arbitration. The US District Courtroom for the Center District of Florida lately continued this pattern in a client dispute over the repossession of a Jeep Wrangler. Johnson v. Westlake Portfolio Mgmt., LLC, No. 8:20-cv-749, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168538 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 15, 2020).
The dispute started when Mr. Gary Johnson bought a Jeep Wrangler from a automotive vendor beneath a Retail Installment Contract. Id. at *1. The subsequent yr, his spouse, Tammy Johnson, known as and tried to make a fee for the Jeep Wrangler. Id. at *2. The vendor initially refused as a result of she was not a celebration to the contract. Id. Ultimately, nevertheless, the vendor accepted fee from Ms. Johnson, after which, repossessed the Jeep Wrangler anyway. Id. In the meantime, the automotive vendor continued to name Ms. Johnson’s cellphone, “regardless of Ms. Johnson repeatedly informing Defendant that it was not his [Mr. Johnson’s] cellphone numbers.” Id.
Mr. and Ms. Johnson finally sued the vendor, together with asserting a TCPA declare. Id. at *4. The vendor moved to compel arbitration as a result of the Retail Installment Contract included a clause requiring arbitration of “any declare or dispute.” Id. at *4. The Courtroom declined to implement arbitration in opposition to Ms. Johnson as a result of she didn’t signal the contract, and equitable estoppel didn’t apply as a result of her claims (together with the TCPA declare) didn’t depend upon the contract. Id. at *4. “As a result of these claims are unbiased of the [contract,] Ms. Johnson can’t be compelled to arbitrate these claims.” Id. at *7 (citing Florida precedent). And Mr. Johnson didn’t need to litigate in a unique discussion board, so the Courtroom didn’t compel him to arbitrate both. Id.
The takeaway right here is that even an arbitration clause that governs “any and all” claims might not.
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