Court Upholds Arbitration Agreement Even Though It Could Result In Plaintiff’s Claims Being Time-Barred

A federal court in Kentucky dismissed employment claims brought against the company by a plaintiff who opted to forgo the arbitration program in which he agreed to pursue such claims. In Anderson v. Charter Communications, the court determined that dismissal–rather than a litigation stay–was appropriate under Sixth Circuit law since all the claims were being sent to arbitration.

In particular, the court rejected plaintiff’s argument that “‘This case should not be dismissed on the ground the Plaintiffs theories of recovery have a one-year statute of limitations and the end result of a dismissal would be a dismissal of the entire case.’ … While Plaintiffs statement may be true, this provides no basis for the Court to undermine the parties’ intent as demonstrated through the Arbitration Agreement. [The parties] intended to mutually bind themselves to arbitrate disputes arising out of Anderson’s employment. The Arbitration Agreement states that ‘[i]f an individual or entity files a claim beyond [the statute of limitations], the claim will not be covered … and the claimant will be notified that the claim has been closed.’… Despite such language, Plaintiff chose to file the instant lawsuit instead of bringing his claim [in arbitration]. Plaintiff cannot now use his intentional breach as a basis for the Court to decline enforcement of the parties’ Agreement. To do so would render the binding power of the Arbitration Agreement void because any party seeking to circumvent it could do so by filing a lawsuit shortly before the expiration of the statute of limitations. Thus, Plaintiffs argument provides no bar to the dismissal of this action.”

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