June 06, 2018 Articles

On Remand, Second Circuit District Court Vacates Arbitrator’s Certification of an Opt-Out Class

By P. Jean Baker

It was a precedent-setting decision. On remand the District Court for the Southern District of New York became the first court to apply Justice Alito's concurrence in Oxford Health Plans to strike down an arbitrator's class certification award. Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter, 569 U.S. 574 (2013) (Alito, J., concurring). The court determined that, absent an express class arbitration provision in each putative class member's arbitration agreement, an arbitrator does not have the authority to bind absent class members to a class judgement—even if the absent class members signed the same arbitration agreement as the named plaintiffs. Jock v. Sterling Jewelers Inc., No. 08 Civ. 2875 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 15, 2018).

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