A strategic defense that focused on the skilled application of state and federal law surrounding electronic arbitration agreements secured a landmark ruling in a New Jersey court for an international technology company represented by Goldberg Segalla.
Agreeing with the vigorous arguments by the legal team of John W. Meyer and Elizabeth A. Chang, Superior Court Judge Kimberly Espinales-Maloney granted the company its first-ever motion to compel arbitration decision in the Superior Court of New Jersey, thus marking a milestone in the state’s case law.
At the center of the case was an electronic checkbox through which plaintiffs agreed to seek resolution of claims against the company in binding arbitration. However, plaintiffs argued they had not read the terms and conditions contained therein, and as such, could not be bound by those terms based on a lack of mutual assent.
In waging their defense, John and Elizabeth — an attorney and partner, respectively, in Goldberg Segalla’s Transportation practice group — provided exhibits showing precisely when and how the plaintiffs assented via the checkbox agreement. They also cited New Jersey and federal case law that failure to read a contract does not create a viable defense.
John and Elizabeth also mounted arguments against the plaintiffs’ contention that the notice contained in the checkbox agreement was not conspicuous, and that the terms did not appropriately notify the plaintiffs that their claims would be subject to binding arbitration.
The court agreed, granting Goldberg Segalla’s motion to dismiss the case from Superior Court and compelling the plaintiffs’ claims to binding arbitration.
Assisting John and Elizabeth in securing the favorable ruling were Teagan S. Allen and Richard J. Halmo, partners in Goldberg Segalla’s Transportation practice group on which Elizabeth and Teagan serve as vice chairs.