The Supreme Court’s Friday decision in an arbitration-related case is “good news” for senior living and care providers, attorneys tell McKnight’s Business Daily.
The ruling, as Bloomberg Law described, “reinforces the ability of companies to channel customer and employee disputes into arbitration.”
The court ruled 5 to 4 in favor of a private business in Coinbase, Inc. v. Bielski.
The justices, said Matthew Korn, a partner at Fisher Phillips, “held that if a trial court denies a party’s request to compel arbitration, the court must pause pre-trial and trial proceedings while the decision is appealed. While this case involved consumer arbitration agreements, the decision should help employers in the long-term care arena to enjoy the benefits of arbitration agreements if faced with an enforcement challenge in court.”
In the decision, Korn added, “the Supreme Court is essentially safeguarding the benefits of arbitration, including efficiency and lower cost, if the appeals court ultimately finds that the case belongs in arbitration.”
In writing for the majority, Justice Brett Kavanaugh said that if a lawsuit is allowed to play out while an appeal on “arbitrability,” then the benefits of arbitration, such reduced expense and less intrusive discovery, “would be irretrievably lost.”
In dissenting, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson argued that the ruling “invents a new stay rule perpetually favoring one class of litigants — defendants seeking arbitration.”
Healthcare attorney Mark Reagan, managing shareholder of Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, told the McKnight’s Business Daily that the decision “is a good result for post-acute and long-term care providers that utilize pre-dispute binding arbitration agreements and represents clear direction to the district courts in their handling of these issues.”
The High Court’s decision, according to Reagan, “is consistent with existing precedent and common sense.”
The ruling reinforces the court’s view of arbitration as a favored means of dispute resolution, Jason E. Bring, a partner at Arnall Golden & Gregory, told the McKnight’s Business Daily.
“One of the very purposes of arbitration is to streamline the proceedings by expediting the proceedings and limiting discovery,” Bring said. “The court’s opinion allows parties to resolve the question of arbitrability first and therefore preserve the advantages of arbitration if they are successful in moving their dispute into arbitration.”