Avoiding Class Actions With Arbitration Agreements

Law360, New York (January 13, 2011, 2:36 PM EST) -- In Stolt-Nielsen SA v. Animalfeeds Int’l Corp., 130 S.Ct. 1758 (2010), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a class action could not proceed in arbitration where the agreement to arbitrate was silent on the issue of proceeding on a class basis. Accordingly, the plaintiffs were forced to arbitrate their disputes on an individual basis. The plaintiffs in Stolt-Nielsen purported to represent a class of users of shipping services who alleged price-fixing by certain shipping companies.

The plaintiffs first filed an antitrust class action in federal court,...
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