Friday, November 9, 2012

Surprise! In order to compel arbitration, the other party must have signed the arbitration agreement

California's Second District Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court's denial of an employer's petition to compel arbitration of a sexual harassment claim, based on....the fact that the employee never signed the new employee handbook which contained a mandatory arbitration clause for all employment matters.  The employer argued that the employee knew the clause existed, and she was in charge of getting all employees (including herself) to sign the employee handbook.  The appellate court again denied the employer's petition to compel arbitration, stating "the trial court properly inferred from [employee's] election not to sign the arbitration agreement that she did not intend to be bound by it."  Further evidence of the old adage, "GET IT IN WRITING"

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wrongful Death Claims Settled...

My clients were the wife and three adult daughters of husband "Joe".  Joe died in the hospital from injuries he sustained two weeks prior  in a two-vehicle car accident on the interstate.  Joe was a passenger in his drunk friend's car when his friend rear-ended a legally stopped vehicle.  The driver's insurance company (another large national company) was quick to settle, but on its terms.  It quickly tendered its policy limit to my clients but it wanted my clients to prove a negative, namely that Medi-Care did NOT have a right to reimbursement from the settlement.  Medi-Care had already confirmed, in writing, that it did not pay any bills for Joe and therefore was not seeking reimbursement.  This was not good enough for the insurance company, because it knew Joe was a Medi-Care member and it wanted to know why Medi-Care did not pay.  After months of convincing and stating the same facts over and over, the insurance company saw the light and paid its policy limits to my four well-deserving clients.  I was happy to bring closure to this family and help them move on.