Cook's Pest Control, Inc. v. Rebar

852 So.2d 730 (2002)

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Cook’s Pest Control, Inc. v. Rebar

Supreme Court of Alabama
852 So.2d 730 (2002)

  • Written by Mary Pfotenhauer, JD

Facts

Robert and Margo Rebar (plaintiffs) entered into a one-year renewable agreement with Cook’s Pest Control, Inc. (Cook’s) (defendant) for Cook’s to inspect and treat the Rebars’ home for termites. The agreement provided that it would continue as long as the Rebars continued to pay the annual renewal fee. The agreement also contained an arbitration clause, which required all disputes between the parties involving the contract to be submitted to binding arbitration. Before the initial agreement term expired, Cook’s requested that the Rebars renew the agreement for another year by paying the renewal fee. The Rebars submitted a check for the renewal fee, along with an addendum to the agreement. The addendum stated that arbitration was not required for any disputes between the parties. The addendum also provided that continuation of services or acceptance of the renewal payment by Cook’s would constitute acceptance of the addendum’s new terms. Cook’s deposited the Rebars’ check and continued to perform termite inspections and treatment services for the Rebars. The Rebars then sued Cook’s for fraud, negligence, breach of contract, breach of warranty, unjust enrichment, and bad faith. Because the Rebars’ claims implicated the Rebars’ contractual relationship with Cook’s, Cook’s moved to compel arbitration of those claims. The circuit court denied Cook’s motion, and Cook’s appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stuart, J.)

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