Supreme Court upholds class arbitration decision

Justices say arbitrator’s decision holds weight and group may pursue arbitration as a class

The high court has handed down its decision in Oxford Health Plans v. Sutter, a case that employers had been closely watching. And, well, the news isn’t so great.

First, some background. In the case, a doctor sued Oxford Health Plans in state court on behalf of a proposed class of physicians who claimed the health insurer underpaid them. Oxford moved the case into arbitration per a contract to which the physicians had agreed. The arbitrator ruled that the physicians could pursue arbitration against Oxford as a class, even though the contract’s arbitration clause didn’t address class arbitration. A trial court and the 3rd Circuit both affirmed the ruling. The case went to the Supreme Court, which heard arguments in March.

Ashley Post

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