Supreme Court Affirms Arbitration Ruling Under Limited Review Authorized Under §10(a)(4) of the Federal Arbitration Act

Oxford Health Plans v. Sutter (United States Supreme Court, June 10, 2013) This action arises from an arbitrator’s decision on whether a contract authorizes class arbitration and whether the arbitrator’s decision survives the judicial review allowed by §10(a)(4) of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). Specifically, a physician entered into a contract with the insurer and agreed to provide medical care to members of the insurer’s network. The physician, on behalf of himself and a proposed class, sued the insurer, alleging
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New Jersey Appellate Division Finds Insurer Can Nullify Arbitration Award Without “Demand For Trial” Letter

Marleny Vega v. 21st Century Insurance Co. (Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division) The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, recently held that an insurer’s timely letter rejecting an arbitration award was sufficient to trigger its right to nullify an arbitration award, and found that the insurer did not need to explicitly demand a trial in order to nullify the award. In the underlying action, Marleny Vega, claimed to have been injured in a hit-and-run car accident. She
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Arbitrator’s Interlocutory Ruling Not Ripe for Judicial Review

Klehr v. Illinois Farmers Ins. Co. (Ill. Ct. App. Jan. 22, 2013) In a matter of first impression in Illinois and nationally, an Illinois Appellate Court recently held that interlocutory rulings by arbitrators are not ripe for judicial review until the arbitration process is complete. The plaintiff was injured in a hit-and-run accident. She filed a claim with her insurance carrier for uninsured motorist coverage and demanded arbitration under the arbitration provision in her insurance policy. The matter was referred
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11th Circuit Upheld Award of Fees and Costs Despite Bifurcated Arbitration

White Spring Agric. Chems., Inc. v. Glawson Invs. Corp.  (11th Cir. Fla. Oct. 17, 2011) White Springs Agricultural Chemicals, Inc. (“White Springs”), a mining company, appealed the confirmation by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida of an arbitration award in favor of Glawson Investments Corp. (“Glawson”), a land owner, granting attorneys’ fees, expert fees, and prejudgment interest.  White Springs sought to vacate or modify the arbitration award under sections 10 and 11 of the Federal
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Eleventh Circuit Prohibits Insurer from Arbitrating Class Action Refund Suit

Lawson v. Life of the South Insurance Co. (11th Cir. (Ga.) Aug. 10, 2011) The Eleventh Circuit recently rejected an insurer’s attempt to arbitrate a putative class action lawsuit charging the insurer with failing to refund unearned premiums to policyholders that paid off loans early. Plaintiffs Barbara and Jerry Lawson purchased a used 2000 Chevrolet Blazer from a Georgia car dealership. The couple financed the purchase by entering into a loan agreement that granted them the right to pay off
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District Court Denied Motion For Injunctive Relief Regarding Arbitrators’ Qualifications

B/E Aeropsace, Inc., v. Jet Aviation St. Louis (S.D.N.Y., July 1, 2011) Plaintiff sought a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction staying its upcoming arbitration with defendant.  The arbitration is administered by defendant The American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) and stems from a dispute involving allegedly incorrect engineering data plaintiff provided to defendant.  The crux of plaintiff’s complaint is that the arbitrators selected by defendants do not meet the requisite qualifications for arbitrators of disputes between plaintiff and defendant as set
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Insurer’s lack of candor to arbitration panel results in complete loss of attorney’s fees awarded by arbitrators

Virginia Surety Company, Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, Case No. 1-10-1753 (App. Ct. Ill. Apr. 20, 2011)   Virginia Surety (“VS”) demanded arbitration against Lloyd’s relating to payments allegedly due from Lloyd’s under two insurance treaties, a 1996 and a 1998 Treaty, in which Lloyd’s agreed to reinsurer VS’s risk on certain automobile extended warranty contracts. The parties’ arbitration agreement did not require a reasoned award, but the parties agreed that they would prefer such an award if
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Supreme Court Concluded that FAA Does Not Permit Class Arbitration

AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, (U.S. Supreme Court, April 27, 2011) Although arbitration provisions have generally been upheld by the courts, certain clauses have been closely scrutinized.  One such clause is a class-action waiver which requires arbitrations to be conducted on an individual basis.  The Supreme Court has now addressed the propriety of such clauses in arbitration provisions and whether state law can void the clause. In AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, customers brought a putative class action suit against
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Arbitration Award Vacated In Part by District Court

W & J Harlan Farms, Inc. v. Cargill, Inc. (S.D. Ind. April 21, 2011) The parties entered into a grain storage contract whereby plaintiff sold defendant a specific amount of corn at set prices for three years and defendant delivered a storage system at no charge.  When floods destroyed 2,400 acres of plaintiff’s corn and plaintiff sought to postpone delivery under the contract, defendant informed plaintiff that it charged $1 per bushel carrying charge to carry the contract over one
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Insurer sue three reinsurers to recover amounts paid in loss settlements for asbestos-related injuries on behalf of ACandS.

Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co., Case No. 3:11-cv-00107 (D. Conn. Jan. 19, 2011). On January 19, 2011, Travelers Casualty and Surety Company (“Travelers”) filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut against three reinsurers who allegedly failed to pay valid claims. Travelers seeks a declaration of coverage and damages for breach of contract. The suit involves reinsurance treaties referred to as Travelers Blanket Excess of Loss Reinsurance Agreements, covering April 1976
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