The U.S. District Court docket for the Southern District of New York not long ago refused to vacate an arbitration award stemming from a place of work particular harm immediately after the arbitrator concluded that the employee was principally responsible for his have injuries.
Daniel Pacelli was functioning for Vane Line Bunkering Inc. (recognised as “Vane Brothers”), as a tankerman on one of Vane Brothers’ barges in New York Harbor when he slipped, fell, and was injured on ice although trying to salt the deck of the barge. He initiated an arbitration action against Vane Brothers. A JAMS arbitrator listened to the circumstance and concluded that Pacelli had sustained $986,750 in damages and that the two Pacelli and Vane Brothers were being negligent. A lot more exclusively, the arbitrator concluded that Pacelli was 70% at fault though Vane Brothers was 30% at fault. The arbitrator as a result lowered Pacelli’s damages accordingly. Pacelli moved to vacate the award.
The district court declined to vacate the award. It rejected Pacelli’s arguments that the arbitrator had (1) manifestly disregarded the regulation (2) been partial to Vane Brothers (3) engaged in “misbehavior” by continuously delaying his choice and (4) improperly unsuccessful to award curiosity.
With respect to manifest disregard, the courtroom concluded that the arbitrator had utilized the regulation relating to contributory carelessness to the details of the circumstance and had supported his decision about comparative fault with proof from the report, which includes evidence that Pacelli had acted carelessly by attempting to salt a slim portion of the deck at night and in freezing temperatures with no seeking support. The courtroom pointed out that the 2nd Circuit does not figure out manifest disregard of the evidence as a ground for vacating an award and refused to reweigh the evidence.
The court also turned down Pacelli’s argument that the arbitrator experienced been partial to Vane Brothers. Following the arbitration hearing but months ahead of the arbitrator issued his final decision, the arbitrator disclosed that he experienced a small possession interest in JAMS and JAMS disclosed that it experienced a tiny selection of other arbitrations with Vane Brothers, its counsel, and/or its counsel’s law company. The court docket pointed out that Pacelli had waived this argument by not boosting it in advance of the arbitrator. The courtroom nonetheless also spelled out that the information did not clearly show poor partiality and turned down Pacelli’s argument that the arbitrator’s small possession fascination was product in any occasion.
Turning to Pacelli’s upcoming argument — that the arbitrator’s delays warranted vacatur — the courtroom noted that Pacelli experienced not pointed to any “authority to assist his position that the arbitrator’s extension requests amounted to ‘misbehavior’ by the arbitrator these that Pacelli’s rights ended up prejudiced.” That was primarily real mainly because Pacelli experienced consented to the extensions.
At last, the courtroom turned down Pacelli’s rivalry that it really should vacate the award since the arbitrator experienced not awarded prejudgment fascination. Though the court docket acknowledged that it would have been appropriate for the arbitrator to award prejudgment interest, the court docket famous that Pacelli had failed “to stage the Courtroom to any case in which a district courtroom vacated an arbitration award for failure to award prejudgment interest” and noted that courts had declined to do any these matter.
The court then went on to validate the arbitration award.
Pacelli v. Vane Line Bunkering, Inc., No. 1:20-cv-09431 (S.D.N.Y. July 16, 2021).