SCOTUS | Court cannot override the arbitrability clause in a contract

Supreme Court of the United States: The appeal lies before the Bench of Kavanaugh, J.

The facts of the case were such that the respondent Archer and White Sales Inc. sued Henry Schein for the violation of Federal and State anti-trust laws, seeking monetary and injunctive relief. The contract between the parties provided for arbitration to resolve any dispute arising between them except for actions seeking injunctive relief. Schein, therefore, requested the District Court to refer the matter to arbitration while Archer argued that this matter was not subject to arbitration owing to injunctive relief. The Fifth Circuit affirmed with Archer’s view. However, the Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the Fifth Circuit and held that parties to such a contract may refer to an arbitrator to decide the ‘gateway questions of arbitrability.’ The Court opined that a court cannot override the contract even if it thinks that the arbitrability claim is ‘wholly groundless.’

The case was remanded for further proceedings.[Henry Schein Inc. v. Archer and White Sales Inc., 2019 SCC OnLine US SC 1, decided on 08-01-2019]

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