Articles Posted in Arbitration & Mediation

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Following the death of Cletus Roth, a resident of a nursing facility operated by The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, Roth’s estate and his adult children filed an action against Good Samaritan, alleging, inter alia, wrongful death, negligence, and loss of consortium. After removing the case to federal court, Good Samaritan moved to compel arbitration. The federal district court directed that the claims of Roth’s estate be submitted to arbitration but asked the Supreme Court to answer two certified questions of Iowa law relating to the adult children’s loss-of-consortium claims. The Supreme Court answered (1) Iowa Code 613.15 does not require that adult children’s loss-of-parental-consortium claims be arbitrated when the deceased parent’s estate’s claims are otherwise subject to arbitration; and (2) in light of the Court’s answer to the previous question, the second question has become moot. View "Roth v. Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society" on Justia Law

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The Iowa Individual Health Benefit Reinsurance Association (“IIHBRA”), a nonprofit corporation, sued its members (“the universities”) for unpaid assessments it was statutorily obligated to collect. The universities filed a motion to dismiss the petition, arguing that the IIHBRA lacks the capacity to sue based on the 2001 amendment to Iowa Code chapter 513C. Chapter 513C initially included a provision stating that IIHBRA had the power to “sue or be sued,” but the 2001 amendment deleted that provision. Alternatively, the universities argued that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the IIHBRA is required to arbitrate under Iowa Code 679A.19. The district court granted the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the 2001 amendment to chapter 513C left intact the IIHBRA’s capacity to sue under Iowa Code chapter 504A; (2) the IIHBRA is not subject to mandatory arbitration under Iowa Code 679A.19; and (3) therefore, the IIHBRA has the capacity to sue its members in district court for unpaid assessments. View "Iowa Individual Health Benefit Reinsurance Ass’n v. Stat Univ. of Iowa" on Justia Law

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As a condition of her employment, Employee signed an agreement to arbitrate claims with Employer. Employee later filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission (ICRC), alleging that Employer had discriminated against her because of her pregnancy. The ICRC subsequently filed a statement of charges with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA). Employer filed a motion to dismiss the ICRC’s charges or, in the alternative, compel arbitration. The DIA denied Employer’s motion on the ground that ICRC was not a party to the arbitration agreement and, consequently, not bound by it. On judicial review, the district court remanded instructions for the ICRC to dismiss the matter pending arbitration by the parties, concluding that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempted state law. The Supreme Court reversed, holding the FAA did not require arbitration of this proceeding because it was brought by an entity that was not bound to arbitrate under generally applicable principles of contract law, where the ICRC was not a party to the agreement and its interest was not derivative of Employee’s. View "Rent-A-Center, Inc. v. Iowa Civil Rights Comm’n" on Justia Law