Good news for opponents of mandatory arbitration clauses.
In an en banc decision issued on January 17, 2013, the Washington Supreme Court held that binding arbitration clauses in insurance contracts are unenforceable under a state statute, RCW 48.18.200(1)(b). The Court further held that the McCarran-Ferguson Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1012, shields the relevant state statute from preemption by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), a law that liberally allows the arbitration of legal disputes. See State of Washington, Department of Transportation v. James River Insurance Company, Case No. 87644-44 (Wash. Jan. 17, 2013).