ARBITRATOR'S AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE ARBITRABILITY - WAIVER OF AND RIGHT TO ARBITRATE - MANAGED HEALTH CARE ADMINISTRATION, INC. V. BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD
Managed Health Care Administration, Inc. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield, [Ms. 1151099, Sept. 1, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017). In this dispute between Blue Cross and certain of its contractual partners, the Court in a per curiam opinion, (Stuart, C.J., and Bolin, Shaw, Main, and Bryan, JJ., concur; Parker and Murdock, JJ. dissent; and Wise and Sellers, JJ., recuse) the Court reverses the circuit court’s order denying Managed Health Care Administration, Inc.’s (“MHCA”) motion to compel Blue Cross to arbitrate certain contractual disputes. The circuit court had held that MHCA had waived any right to compel arbitration by substantially invoking the litigation process and that the arbitration provision did not survive termination of the contract. The Court reversed, holding that per the terms of the contract, “the arbitrability issues of whether the arbitration provision in the 2006 contract has been terminated and whether MHCA waived its right to arbitration are issues for the arbitrator, not the circuit court.” Ms. *14.