Standard AIA Construction Contract Language Binds Homeowners to Arbitration
- The first page of the Standard Form provides, “This document has important legal consequences. Consultation with an attorney is encouraged with respect to its completion or modification.”
- Contractor asked the homeowner to review the documents, and if they met with homeowner’s approval, sign and return one copy to the contractor.
- Homeowner signed the contract.
- Homeowner admitted it signed the contract without reading it, but were given the time and opportunity to review and read it.
- “Arbitration pursuant to Section 15.4 of AIA Document A201-2007,”
- “Litigation in a court of competent jurisdiction,” or
“The box next to the first choice — arbitration — was marked with an ‘X.’ The boxes next to choice two — litigation — and choice three — “other” — were left unchecked.” According to the District Court, “Even under Atalese standard, the selection of arbitration over litigation clearly explains in a simple way that the parties’ disputes must be resolved in arbitration instead of litigation.”