The powers of a court to vacate an arbitration award

Matter of Miller v Elrac, LLC, 2019 NY Slip Op 01544 (1st Dept. 2019)

(1) ”  Since the master arbitrator found that the no-fault arbitrator reached the decision in a rational manner and that the decision was not arbitrary or capricious, incorrect as a matter of law, in excess of policy limits, or in conflict with other no-fault arbitration proceedings there were no grounds for its vacatur; the motion court correctly upheld the master arbitrator’s determination “

(2) “Contrary to petitioner’s argument, there is no basis to conclude that the arbitrator made a mistake of law by ignoring whether petitioner’s condition could have worsened after respondent’s independent medical examination; she just made a factual determination that it had not “

My only comment on this case is that the lower arbitrator made two significant mistakes. First, the arbitrator said that Petitioner should lose because of a “gap in treatment”. Besides gaps in treatment having no applicability outside Ins Law 5102(d) motions, Petitioner suffered a fracture. Second, the Petitioner developed a tumor on the finger that broke and his condition declined subsequently. The lower arbitrator looked at all records until the one where the tumor arose. The record is clear.

Anyway, arbitration can be just that: arbitrary.


One Response

  1. This doesn’t seem like the standard of review as contemplated by Mt. Saint Mary’s way back when, but something of an empty reference to “arbitrary and capricious” without any real application thereof.

    On the other hand though, it was interesting to observe “in excess of policy limits” specifically cited as a basis for vacatur of a no-fault arbitration award, albeit not here.

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