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The post below was published on Monday, October 11th, 2010 at 4:56 AM.

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Third District: Arbitration and Collateral Estoppel

Litigation over arbitration agreements usually involves an agreement that predates the litigation. Not always. In this case, parties litigating in court agreed to arbitrate “with respect to the allegations in the complaint.” During the arbitration, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint. The defendants asserted that doing so breached the arbitration agreement and that the amended complaint was not within the agreement’s scope. After the arbitration panel rejected that argument, the defendants raised it with the trial court, which ordered the arbitration terminated.

On appeal, the Third District reversed. The court held that the amended complaint presented claims with respect to the allegations in the original complaint and that, in any event, the arbitration panel’s original ruling on the issue gave rise to collateral estoppel.

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