Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Senate Passes Bill Barring Some Arbitration Appeals
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The state Senate yesterday passed a bill that would bar some appeals from orders denying petitions to compel arbitration.
SB 1065, by Sen. Bill Monning, D-Santa Cruz, would make such orders non-appealable when the plaintiff raises a statutory elder abuse claim and has been granted a trial preference on the ground that he or she is over 70 years of age or terminally ill.
Monning said the bill, which cleared the Judiciary Committee last week and now goes to the Assembly, is needed because a defendant whose arbitration agreement is found unenforceable “can nonetheless override the court’s order for a preferential trial date and delay the elder’s trial another 1-3 years by filing an appeal.”
Consumer Attorneys of California President Elise Sanguanetti echoed that concern in a statement yesterday.
“We have seen cases in which the appeal of an arbitration denial can delay the resolution of an elder abuse case by as much as two years,” she said. “That’s time these elderly victims just don’t have.”
The bill is also endorsed by the Congress of California Seniors and California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, California Alliance for Retired Americans, and Consumer Federation of California.
The Civil Justice Association of California opposes the bill. In a letter to the Senate committee, it said the bill “is contrary to California’s strong public policy favoring arbitration and the enforcement of valid arbitration agreements” and that change is unnecessary because a plaintiff can seek an expedited appeal.
The California Association of Health Facilities is also opposed to the bill.
Copyright 2016, Metropolitan News Company