In the News

Kratovil Delivers Podcast—Discusses Significance of Marmet Decision

March 12, 2012

Member of Dykema’s litigation practice, Chris Kratovil, recently discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s February 21, 2012 decision in Marmet Health Care Center, Inc. v. Brown in a Federalist Society-sponsored podcast.

The Court’s opinion addressed the question of whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempted a determination of West Virginia courts that, as a matter of state public policy, pre-dispute arbitration agreements are not enforceable with respect to claims made against nursing homes for injury or wrongful death. In a unanimous per curiam decision, the Court vacated the decision of the West Virginia Court of Appeals, holding that state public policy was preempted by the FAA.

Kratovil, who focuses his practice in the arbitration and appellate fields, said that in Marmet the Court’s decision was rendered under “unusually strong and unusually harsh terms.” He goes on to comment that the case was “fairly simple, but important,” because it supports the Court’s policy in favor of forcing arbitration—one that is in line with 25-years worth of supportive Supreme Court decisions. In concluding his podcast, Kratovil speculates that the Supreme Court may someday find an arbitration clause it does not like, but that he does not expect that day to come soon.

Click here to listen to the podcast or download a printable version of the decision.