Rent-A-Center Inc. v. Ellis (Signed Opinion)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court finding a delegation clause in an arbitration agreement unconscionable and refusing to enforce the arbitration agreement, holding that the delegation clause was neither unconscionable nor unenforceable.
Respondent, who was terminated from her employment, filed workers' compensation discrimination claims against Petitioners. Petitioner moved to compel arbitration based on the arbitration agreement that Respondent signed at the time she was hired. The circuit court refused to enforce the arbitration agreement on the grounds that the agreement's delegation clause was ambiguous, unconscionable and in violation of W. Va. Code 23-2-7. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the delegation clause clearly and unmistakably showed the parties' intent to send gateway questions of arbitration to an arbitrator; (2) the delegation clause was valid; and (3) the circuit court should have referred the parties' arguments about the enforceability of the arbitration agreement to the arbitrator.