Cases & Deals

Experian secures victory in Ninth Circuit, allowing company to arbitrate case

Client(s) Experian Information Solutions, Inc.

Experian Information Solutions, Inc., represented by Jones Day, successfully persuaded the Ninth Circuit to send a putative class action to arbitration. The company was sued over allegedly reporting faulty loan-repayment information, and it moved to compel arbitration based on the express terms of an arbitration agreement it entered with the named plaintiffs. That arbitration agreement was contained in a terms of use agreement between an Experian affiliate and the named plaintiffs. Based solely on the broader terms of use agreement, the district court found that Experian itself was not a party to the arbitration agreement and denied Experian's motion to compel. The Ninth Circuit reversed, in a 2-1 decision adopting Jones Day's lead argument. Specifically, the Ninth Circuit agreed with Jones Day that the arbitration provision was a standalone contract, separable from the broader terms of use. And, again embracing Jones Day's argument, the Ninth Circuit further held that Experian and the named plaintiffs not only had committed to arbitrate certain claims against each other but also had delegated to the arbitrator questions about which claims were covered by their arbitration agreement. This important win for Jones Day's client advances the purposes of the Federal Arbitration Act by ensuring that parties who agreed to arbitrate cannot escape their promises simply because of purported agreement problems with a broader contract.

Elettra Meeks, et al. v. Experian Information Solutions, et al., No. 21-17023 (9th Cir. 2022)