Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. v. JonesAnnotate this Case
Defendants Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. and Robert Shackelford, appealed the Circuit Court's order denying, in part, their motion to compel arbitration of the claims asserted against them by the plaintiffs Paul and Eleanor Jones. Specifically, defendants challenged the circuit court's refusal to compel arbitration of the plaintiffs' tort-of-outrage claim. After review, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded: the nonsignatory plaintiffs conceded that they were third-party beneficiaries of the agreement at issue here. The scope of the arbitration provision in the agreement was "indisputably" broad enough to encompass the plaintiffs' tort-of-outrage claim. Moreover, as the defendants noted, "[t]he events surrounding the change of beneficiary [on the Ameriprise accounts] form the basis for all of the [plaintiffs’] claims." Under this reasoning, the plaintiffs' tort-of-outrage claim is, like their other claims, subject to the arbitration provision in the agreement. The circuit court, therefore, improperly denied the defendants' motion seeking to compel arbitration of all of the plaintiffs' claims.