"Taylor-Made" Arbitration - Taylor Morrison Arbitration clause unenforceable, violates public policy

National homebuilder powerhouse Taylor Morrison suffered a setback on its attempts to force buyers into arbitration when they allege building code violations.  In the Second District Court of Appeals, the case of Reginald Anderson v. Taylor Morrison of Fla., Inc., 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1232 (Fla. 2d DCA May 31, 2017), dealt with the builder's attempts to enforce an arbitration agreement contained in its form Purchase and Sale Agreement against the buyers who were alleging defects in the home they purchased.

The Court determined that the Taylor Morrison contract attempted to limit or circumvent statutory protections for the buyers under Florida law, so the contract itself violated public policy and was not enforceable against the buyers alleging the construction defects.  In reaching this conclusion, the Second District stated that a contract violates public policy where it "defeats the remedial purpose of a statute or prohibits the plaintiff from obtaining meaningful relief under the statutory scheme." Anderson v. Taylor Morrison of Fla., Inc., 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1232. 

It appears, based on this ruling, that Taylor Morrison will have to go back to the figurative drawing board in order to find a way around statutory protections for buyers of its homes. 

If you have a question about or a dispute with a builder regarding a home or other purchase and sale contract, or are experiencing construction defects, the experienced construction litigation attorneys at Icard Merrill may be able to help you.