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Andrew v. American Imp. Ctr.

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

February 26, 2015

COLIN ANDREW, APPELLANT,
v.
AMERICAN IMPORT CENTER, APPELLEE, AND DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, INTERVENOR

Argued June 5, 2014

As Amended March 19, 2015.

Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. (CAB-8450-08). (Hon. Anita M. Josey-Herring, Trial Judge).

Reversed and remanded.

Thomas C. Willcox for appellant.

James C. McKay, Jr., with whom Irvin B. Nathan, then-Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Todd S. Kim, Solicitor General, and Loren L. Alikhan, Deputy Solicitor General, were on the brief, for intervenor.

V. David Zvenyach, with whom John Hoellen was on the brief, for amicus curiae District of Columbia Council.

David R. Mahdavi filed a Statement in Lieu of Brief for appellee.

Before WASHINGTON, Chief Judge, THOMPSON, Associate Judge, and NEBEKER, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Page 627

Washington, Chief Judge.

Appellant Colin Andrew brought suit in the Superior Court against American Import Center (" AIC" ) and others, alleging breach of contract, fraud, and violations of the Consumer Protection Procedures Act arising out of his purchase of a car from AIC. The Superior Court stayed appellant's case and ordered the parties to proceed to arbitration pursuant to an arbitration agreement that was signed as part of the purchase transaction. Andrew appealed. The question before this court is whether we have jurisdiction to hear an appeal from an order compelling a consumer to arbitrate with a commercial entity based on an arbitration clause in an adhesion contract. For the following reasons, we hold that such an order is interlocutorily appealable pursuant to D.C. Code § 11-721 (a)(2)(A) (2012 Repl.). Further, we find that appellant raised a triable issue of fact as to the unconscionability of the arbitration agreement and we therefore remand the case to the trial court to hold an evidentiary hearing and make factual findings concerning unconscionability.

I. Facts

Appellant Colin Andrew brought suit against AIC, Tehran Ghasri (" ...


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