Can A Business Enforce An Arbitration Agreement You Signed With A Third Party?
Federal law strongly encourages the enforcement of arbitration agreements. But there are still limits. For example, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed a situation where a third party tried to enforce an arbitration agreement between a customer and another company. The court said that “common sense” did not support such a broad application of federal arbitration law.
According to the plaintiff, he had no quarrel with Orbitz or the service it provided. He made his rental car reservation without any problems. A few weeks later, the plaintiff picked up the rental car from the defendant. At that time, he signed a separate agreement with the defendant–which, the 11th Circuit noted, did not contain any sort of arbitration provision. After returning the car, however, the defendant alleged the plaintiff had damaged the vehicle and attempted to charge him $700.
This prompted the plaintiff to file a federal class action against the defendant, accusing it of breach of contract and violation of state consumer protection laws. Notably, the plaintiff did not name Orbitz as a defendant or accuse it of any wrongdoing. Nevertheless, the defendant tried to invoke the terms of service between the plaintiff and Orbitz as grounds for requiring arbitration of the plaintiff’s grievances.
Speak with a Florida Consumer Protection Attorney Today
State and federal laws provide you with important legal protections when dealing with businesses. It is important that you stand up for these rights in court. An experienced Sarasota consumer protection lawyer can help. Contact Suncoast Civil Law to schedule a confidential case evaluation with a member of our team today.