In Newman v. Cypress Env. Mgmnt.:
- Newman, a pipeline inspector, had an Employment Agreement with Cypress, a business that supplied pipeline inspectors for client projects, and that agreement had an arbitration clause;
- A Cypress affiliate entered a contract to supply services to Plains, a pipeline company
- Newman brought an FLSA action against Plains for unpaid overtime, and Plains sought to compel arbitration, citing the provision of the Newman-Cypress contract.
The Fifth Circuit held that Plains was not a third-party beneficiary of that contract and could not enforce it, noting: “First, Newman’s incorporated-by-reference Pay Letter [between the Cypress affiliate and Plains] did not clearly and fully spell out that Plains could take legal action if either Newman or Cypress breached its terms. To the extent that it named Plains at all, the Pay Letter merely list ‘Plains-Pipeline’ as the ‘Client.’ … [and] Second, the Employment Agreement itself did not clearly and fully spell out that Plains could take legal action if Newman decided to breach its other terms.” No. 21-5023 (Jan. 7, 2022) (emphasis in original).
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