Court affirms arbitration in Cherokee contract case
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ordered a health care company to arbitrate a breach of contract dispute with the business entity of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

Cherokee Nation Industries won a contract from the U.S. Army to provide dental services in Germany. CNI entered into a subcontract, and later a modified agreement, with Aliron International to carry out the work for 49 percent of the revenue.

Aliron subsequently claimed CNI stopped making payments and sued for $1.8 million in damages. CNI responded that the dispute must be resolved by arbitration, under Oklahoma law.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., sided with the tribe. The subcontract and the agreement, when read together, compel arbitration, the judge said in dismissing the case.

On appeal, the D.C. Circuit agreed and said "the two contracts must be read together as one under Oklahoma law."

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Aliron Intl Inc v. Cherokee Natn Industries (July 8, 2008)