STORY FROM: Reinsurance & Arbitration
Courts May Not Infer Classwide Arbitration from Ambiguous Agreement, High Court Rules
May 21, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A majority of the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that courts may not infer from an ambiguous arbitration agreement that the parties have consented to arbitrate on a classwide, rather than individual, basis.
In an April 25 opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the majority overturned an appellate court ruling that ambiguities in arbitration clauses should be construed against the party that drafted the contract. The high court concluded that that ambiguity does not provide a sufficient basis to conclude that the parties agreed to “sacrifice the principal advantage of arbitration.”
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. ...