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Forum-Selection Clause

Castleberry v. Angie’s List, Inc., [Ms. 1180241, May 17, 2019] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2019). The Court (Sellers, J.; Parker, C.J., and Bolin, Wise, and Stewart, JJ., concur) affirms the Montgomery Circuit Court’s order dismissing the Castleberrys’ claims against Angie’s List, Inc., based on a forum-selection clause.

The Castleberrys used their membership with Angie’s List to locate a contractor to renovate a bathroom in their home to make it handicap accessible. Ms. *2. The Castleberrys sued the contractor for poor work and named Angie’s List as a defendant alleging that Angie’s List had misrepresented the qualifications of the contractor. Ibid.

The membership agreement between Angie’s List and the Castleberrys contained a forum-selection clause providing for exclusive jurisdiction in the courts of Marion County, Indiana. Ms. *3. The Castleberrys argued that the forum-selection clause required Angie’s List members to litigate in Indiana only those claims brought against them by Angie’s List and did not apply to claims brought by members against Angie’s List. Ms. *3-4. The Court rejected this argument, noting that “the first sentence of the forum-selection clause provides for the application of Indiana law in ‘any action.’” Ms. *5.

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