United Health Ctrs. of San Joaquin v. Superior Ct.Annotate this Case
UHC hired Haworth as a part-time physician in 2005. After UHC terminated her employment in 2010, she sued for retaliation and wrongful termination. UHC successfully moved to compel arbitration under a provision in Haworth’s employment contract. UHC’s counsel recommended to Haworth’s counsel, Smith, that they select either Retired Judge Broadman or Retired Justice Dibiaso as the arbitrator, stating that he had used both several times, and asked Smith to let him know if he agreed to either one or if he proposed an alternative. Smith agreed to Broadman. After a hearing and briefing, Broadman issued judgment in UHC’s favor, finding that UHC terminated Haworth’s position due to its financial distress, the impracticality of employing part-time physicians, and personnel issues, and that she was an at-will employee. The court vacated the award (Code of Civil Procedure section 1285.20, on the ground that Broadman failed to comply with the mandatory disclosure requirements of sections 1281.9 and 1281.85 and that those obligations cannot be waived. The court of appeal remanded, noting that Haworth’s attorneys had actual knowledge of a ground for disqualification before the arbitration commenced and that the failure to disclose could be waived.