Med Center Cars, Inc. v. Smith

In Med Center Cars, Inc. v. Smith, 727 So. 2d 9 (Ala. 1998), the Court examined the question whether claims against nonsignatories were subject to arbitration. The nonsignatory defendants in Med Center Cars argued that the scope of the arbitration agreement was broad enough to encompass the claims against them and that the plaintiffs' allegations of conspiracy compelled the arbitration of intertwined claims. However, the Court concluded in Med Center Cars that the language of the arbitration agreement was not broad enough to encompass claims against nonsignatories and that the plaintiffs' conspiracy claims, which alleged generally that a combination of defendants had conspired to violate Alabama law, had not been developed sufficiently to allow us to determine which defendants, if any, had conspired against the plaintiffs. Moreover, in Med Center Cars, some of the defendants against whom conspiracy allegations were made were not entitled to compel arbitration of the plaintiffs' claims against them. In that case, the Court said, it was possible that the plaintiffs' conspiracy claims could have involved only defendants who were not subject to arbitration.