ABBY WELLS v. TENNESSEE HOMESAFE INSPECTIONS, LLC (Tenn. Ct. App. December 16, 2008).
In homeowner's suit against home inspection company, the trial court denied the company's motion to compel arbitration. Because the arbitration clause was not signed or initialed by a representative of the company as required by statute, we affirm the trial court's decision.
Opinion may be found at the TBA website:
"The statute plainly states that, for contracts involving a party’s residence, the arbitration clause must be “additionally signed or initialed by the parties.” Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-5-302(a). As previously noted by this court, Tennessee has“imposed a heightened notice requirement for the enforcement of agreements to arbitrate contained in certain types of contracts.” We have construed this provision “as requiring that in situations involving farm or residential property as described in the statute, arbitration clauses must be separately signed or initialed in addition to being written, thereby ensuring notice of the clause in these particularized cases.” As to the contract at issue, therefore, the statute required the arbitration clause to be signed or initialed by both parties. THSI did not sign or initial the arbitration clause, thus the arbitration provision is not enforceable under Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-5-302(a)." Id.