Dorman v. The Charles Schwab Corp., No. 18-15281 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's order denying Schwab's motion to compel arbitration in a class action brought by a former participant in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) retirement plan. Plaintiff alleged that defendants violated ERISA and breached their fiduciary duties by including Schwab-affiliated investment funds in the Plan—despite the funds' poor performance—to generate fees for Schwab and its affiliates.
In light of the Supreme Court's intervening case law, the panel held that its holding in Amaro v. Continental Can Co., 724 F.2d 747 (9th Cir. 1984), that ERISA claims were not arbitrable, was no longer good law. The panel held that the holding in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, 570 U.S. 228 (2013), that federal statutory claims are generally arbitrable and arbitrators can competently interpret and apply federal statutes, was irreconcilable with Amaro. Accordingly, the court remanded.