There is an area outside of ordinary consumer transactions where arbitration is totally unfair and can never be justified. That is in the workplace. Arbitration should never be allowed where personal injury or death of an employee is involved. But, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled that the family of a worker killed in an accident at BP America Inc.’s Texas City, Texas, facility must arbitrate their wrongful death claim.
The Appellate Court said that’s because the family is bound by an arbitration clause in the man’s employment contract with his employer. The Appeals Court reversed a May 2008 ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, which denied BP’s motion to compel arbitration on the claim.
There is no way to justify requiring a worker’s family to have a wrongful death claim submitted to arbitration and to deny them access to the courts. Even if the worker had survived, and was suing for his injuries, arbitration has no place in that setting. An individual’s right to a jury trial under the U.S. Constitution should prevail and it certainly should where a family is suing for the death of a family member based on the fault of another party.
Source: Law 360
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.