Litigation triple-header

cerebrusIn a followup to Al Rushaid v. Nat’l Oilwell Varco, Inc., 757 F.3d 416 (5th Cir. 2014), the Fifth Circuit confronted a situtation where the plaintiffs’ claims against National Oilwell Varco Norway would be arbitrated before the ICC; claims against NOV LP, an American affiliate would be arbitrated in the Southern District of Texas; and claims against other NOV entities that did not sign the relevant arbitration agreement would proceed in Texas state court. The Court declined jurisdiction over NOV LP’s appeal because the district court granted its TexasBarToday_TopTen_Badge_Smallmotion to compel arbitration, leaving no statutory basis for an otherwise interlocutory appeal.  As to the nonsignatories, the Court affirmed, finding that the plaintiffs were not seeking to enforce either contract that implicated arbitration.  Acknowledging that the litigation would be “fragmented,” the Court observed: “This is an inevitable and permissible consequence where one of multiple defendants asserts a right to arbitrate.”  Al Rushaid v. National Oilwell Varco, No. 15-20260 (Feb. 17, 2016).  [On the issue of “fragmentation,” consider the dueling opinions in the recent case of In re: Rolls-Royce Corp., 775 F.3d 671 (5th Cir. 2014)]

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