UK Insurer Barred from Enforcing Mandatory Arbitration Provision in Coverage Dispute with Missouri Insured

UK Insurer Barred from Enforcing Mandatory Arbitration Provision in Coverage Dispute with Missouri Insured

by Seth Lamden, Partner, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP

In Union Electric Co. v. AEGIS Energy Syndicate 1225, No. 12-3546 (8th Cir. April 19, 2013) [enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers], the court held that a UK insurer was precluded from enforcing a mandatory arbitration provision due to a policy endorsement stating that "any dispute relating to this Insurance or to a CLAIM . . . shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Missouri and each party agree [sic] to submit to the jurisdiction of the Courts of the state of Missouri." In so ruling, the court held that AEGIS' agreement to have "any dispute" resolved in the courts of the state of Missouri "entirely supplants the [policy's] mandatory arbitration provision." The court also noted that "even if the policy as a whole were ambiguous as to the mandatory arbitration, and we think it is not, UEC would still prevail because it would be entitled to have the ambiguity resolved in its favor."

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