Is Claim of Fraud In the Inducement Against An Arbitration Clause Arbitrable ?
In Prima Paint Corp. v. Flood & Conklin Mfg. Co., 388 U.S. 395, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1270, 87 S. Ct. 1801, (1966) the Supreme Court makes it clear that while a claim of fraud in the inducement of the contract generally is arbitrable, a claim of fraud in the inducement made against an arbitration clause is not arbitrable.
Such a claim goes to the making of the arbitration clause, an issue which is left for the court under 4 of the United States Arbitration Act of 1925. 9 U.S.C. 4 (West 1999).
Consequently, when the claim of fraud in the inducement goes to the arbitration clause, the court "may proceed to adjudicate it." 388 U.S. at 404.
However, the court is not permitted "to consider claims of fraud in the inducement of the contract generally." 388 U.S. at 404.