JOSEPH CAFFEY and OMNI DEVELOPMENT CORP.
County Superior Court
Plaintiff: George T. Gilson, Esq.
Defendant: Ronald J. Resmini, Esq.
LANPHEAR, J. JUSTICE/MAGISTRATE.
matter is before the Court on Joseph Caffey and Omni
Development Corporation's (Petitioners) motion to vacate
an arbitration award entered on December 2, 2015. Defendant
Christopher Lees objects to Petitioners' motion and moves
to confirm the arbitration award. The arbitrator found that
the Petitioners were liable to Mr. Lees for injuries suffered
in a motor vehicle accident.
Facts and Travel
Lees was injured in a motor vehicle accident that occurred on
May 28, 2011 in Seekonk, Massachusetts. A vehicle driven by
Joseph Caffey struck the rear of the vehicle driven by Mr.
February 11, 2014, the parties executed a binding arbitration
agreement and agreed on the selection of the arbitrator. They
also agreed that the minimum award to Mr. Lees would be $9000
and that the maximum award would be $160, 000.
two-day arbitration hearing began on November 25, 2014 and
was concluded on February 4, 2015. The arbitrator issued his
decision on December 2, 2015. He found that there was no
contributory negligence on the part of Mr. Lees, and he
awarded Mr. Lees damages in the amount of $190, 860, plus
interest and costs. Arbitration Award at 1. Petitioners filed
a Petition to Vacate Arbitration Award on December 29, 2015.
Mr. Lees filed an Objection on January 13, 2016. A hearing
was conducted on April 21, 2016.
Standard of Review
applicable statute enumerates the limited circumstances under
which a court may vacate the award of an arbitrator. G.L.
1956 § 10-3-12 provides that:
"the court must make an order vacating the award upon
the application of any party to the arbitration:
"(1) Where the award was procured by corruption, fraud
or undue means.
"(2) Where there was evident partiality or corruption on
the part of the arbitrators, or either of them.
"(3) Where the arbitrators were guilty of misconduct in
refusing to postpone the hearing, upon sufficient cause
shown, or in hearing legally immaterial evidence, or refusing
to hear evidence pertinent and material to the controversy,
or of any other misbehavior by which ...