Kirby v. Lion Enters., Inc. (Signed Opinion)Annotate this Case
Petitioners entered into a written agreement with Bastian Homes and Lion Enterprises, Inc. (collectively, “Bastian Homes”) for the construction of a new home. The agreement contained an arbitration clause. After a water leak allegedly substantially damaged major portions of the partially-constructed home, Petitioners sued Bastian Homes. Bastian Homes filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the arbitration clause in the construction contract required the matter to be submitted to arbitration. Petitioners opposed the motion to dismiss, contending that the arbitration clause in this case was not bargained for and was therefore invalid. The circuit court granted the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) because the construction contract was properly formed and supported by sufficient consideration, there was no requirement that the arbitration clause be independently “bargained for”; and (2) because the circuit court decided the arbitration clause not unconscionable without the issue being fairly argued by the parties and without any factual development, this issue needed to be remanded for further development of the record.