Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Last week, the Supreme Court granted review of Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter. The issue, according to SCOTUSblog is:
Whether an arbitrator acts within his powers under the Federal Arbitration Act (as the Second and Third Circuits have held) or exceeds those powers (as the Fifth Circuit has held) by determining that parties affirmatively “agreed to authorize class arbitration,” Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. Animalfeeds Int'l Corp., based solely on their use of broad contractual language precluding litigation and requiring arbitration of any dispute arising under their contract
The agreement at issue, which was drafted by Oxford, in the case makes no reference to the availability of class arbitration. The arbitrator issued an award authorizing class arbitration. Oxford challenged that award, relying on Stolt-Nielsen, about which we have previously posted here and here. Both the District Court and the Third Circuit affirmed the arbitral award.
For comprehensive treatment and links to the relevant documents, check out the ever-reliable SCOTUSblog.