The Washington Supreme Court affirmed the denial of a motion to compel arbitration in an insurance dispute, based on a state statute that prohibits insurance contracts from “depriving the courts of [Washington] of the jurisdiction of action against the insurer.” The court analyzed the legislative history of the statute and state court precedent to find that the statute is more than a forum selection provision, but is a requirement for insurance disputes to be litigated in court. The court rejected the argument that a court’s ability to confirm an arbitration award constitutes “jurisdiction of action,” holding that a court’s power to confirm an award reflects only “limited” jurisdiction. The court further held that the state law regulated the “business of insurance” under the McCarran-Ferguson Act, so as to reverse preempt the FAA and preclude any application of Concepcion to this case. This result is similar to that in states which have a statute prohibiting arbitration provisions in certain insurance contracts. , Case No. 87644-4 (Wash. Jan. 17, 2013).
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State law requiring “jurisdiction of action” in courts for insurance disputes rendered arbitration clause void
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