The U.S. District Court docket for the Southern District of New York a short while ago refused to vacate an arbitration award stemming from a place of work personalized personal injury immediately after the arbitrator concluded that the worker was largely liable for his very own injuries.
Daniel Pacelli was operating for Vane Line Bunkering Inc. (recognized as “Vane Brothers”), as a tankerman on 1 of Vane Brothers’ barges in New York Harbor when he slipped, fell, and was hurt on ice while trying to salt the deck of the barge. He initiated an arbitration motion from Vane Brothers. A JAMS arbitrator listened to the case and concluded that Pacelli had sustained $986,750 in damages and that the two Pacelli and Vane Brothers ended up negligent. Far more specially, the arbitrator concluded that Pacelli was 70% at fault whilst Vane Brothers was 30% at fault. The arbitrator as a result minimized 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 experienced (1) manifestly disregarded the legislation (2) been partial to Vane Brothers (3) engaged in “misbehavior” by repeatedly delaying his decision and (4) improperly unsuccessful to award curiosity.
With respect to manifest disregard, the courtroom concluded that the arbitrator had used the regulation regarding contributory carelessness to the specifics of the scenario and had supported his determination regarding comparative fault with evidence from the history, together with proof that Pacelli had acted carelessly by trying to salt a narrow part of the deck at evening and in freezing temperatures without trying to get support. The courtroom observed that the Second Circuit does not figure out manifest disregard of the proof as a ground for vacating an award and refused to reweigh the evidence.
The courtroom also rejected Pacelli’s argument that the arbitrator experienced been partial to Vane Brothers. Right after the arbitration hearing but months ahead of the arbitrator issued his decision, the arbitrator disclosed that he had a tiny ownership curiosity in JAMS and JAMS disclosed that it had a modest number of other arbitrations with Vane Brothers, its counsel, and/or its counsel’s law agency. The courtroom noted that Pacelli experienced waived this argument by not boosting it just before the arbitrator. The court yet also defined that the points did not demonstrate improper partiality and rejected Pacelli’s argument that the arbitrator’s small possession interest was product in any function.
Turning to Pacelli’s upcoming argument — that the arbitrator’s delays warranted vacatur — the courtroom noted that Pacelli had not pointed to any “authority to guidance his situation that the arbitrator’s extension requests amounted to ‘misbehavior’ by the arbitrator these kinds of that Pacelli’s rights have been prejudiced.” That was particularly genuine simply because Pacelli experienced consented to the extensions.
Last but not least, the court docket turned down Pacelli’s contention that it should really vacate the award because the arbitrator had not awarded prejudgment desire. Though the court acknowledged that it would have been suitable for the arbitrator to award prejudgment fascination, the courtroom mentioned that Pacelli had failed “to point the Courtroom to any case in which a district courtroom vacated an arbitration award for failure to award prejudgment interest” and observed that courts had declined to do any such issue.
The court docket then went on to ensure the arbitration award.
Pacelli v. Vane Line Bunkering, Inc., No. 1:20-cv-09431 (S.D.N.Y. July 16, 2021).