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Arbitrator's unavailability will not stop arbitration from starting

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has found an arbitration agreement’s “plain language” trumps a woman’s attempt to stop the alternative dispute resolution process.

Evelyn Hendricks, through her health care representative, signed a voluntary agreement for arbitration when she moved into Lane House.

Later, when she filed suit against the health care facility for negligence, Hendricks argued arbitration would not be possible. She pointed to a 2009 consent decree the National Arbitration Forum had entered into with the Minnesota attorney general which barred it from conducting any future arbitration involving disputes between consumers and businesses.

The trial court agreed and denied Lane House’s motion to stay the proceedings and compel arbitration.

Reversing the denial in Anonymous, M.D. and Life Care Centers of America, Inc., d/b/a Lane House v. Evelyn Hendricks, 79A04-1304-CT-185, the Court of Appeals found Hendricks’ assertion overlooked a key element in the arbitration agreement she signed.

NAF is named as the preferred entity to conduct the arbitration in the Lane House agreement but the document also contains provisions for another alternative dispute resolution service or method to be used if NAF is unavailable.

Since the agreement provides for an alternate entity or method, the Court of Appeals held that NAF was not integral to the arbitration. Its current inability to serve as the arbitrator between Hendricks and Lane House does not void the agreement.•
 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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