Seventh Circuit Dismisses Appeal Regarding Arbitration for Lack of Jurisdiction

Sherwood v. Marquette Transp. Co., LLC

(7th Cir. (Ill.) Nov. 23, 2009)


The Seventh Circuit recently dismissed an employer’s appeal to overturn a district court’s decision refusing to stay an employee’s pending litigation in favor of arbitration. Bluegrass Marine, whose vessels ply the Mississippi River, was sued by an employee injured while working as a deckhand. Bluegrass asked the district court to stay the suit, arguing that the employment contract between the parties required that all disputes be arbitrated under the Illinois Arbitration …

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Fifth Circuit Held That The McCarran-Ferguson Act Does Not Authorize State Law to Reverse-Preempt International Treaties

Safety National Casualty Corporation v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London

 (5th Cir. (La.) November 9, 2009)


The Fifth Circuit has held that the McCarran-Ferguson Act does not authorize state law to reverse-preempt international treaties, i.e. the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.  The McCarran-Ferguson act allows Congress to pass laws which will regulate the “business of insurance.” It also provides that federal acts that do not expressly purport to regulate the “business of insurance” will not preempt

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New York Appellate Court Denies Plaintiff’s Motion to Stay Arbitration on Arbitrability Grounds

Life Receivables Trust v. Goshawk Syndicate 102 at Lloyd’s

(New York Appellate Division, 1st Dept., October 13, 2009)


A New York appellate court upheld a denial of plaintiff’s motion to stay or enjoin arbitration before the American Arbitration Association.  The agreement provides that all disputes be referred to arbitration under the AAA.  While arbitrability is often a judicial determination, the court held because the parties incorporated by referenced the AAA rules, which allows the tribunal to rule on its own jurisdiction, the arbitrators

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The Growing Authority of Arbitrators Under the Federal Arbitration Act

In the world of reinsurance, agreements, or Treaties, the inclusion of provisions mandating arbitration is a well-established industry standard. Despite the potential exposure inherent in reinsurance disputes, such Treaties and their corresponding arbitration provisions are not particularly expansive and, in fact, oftentimes rely upon “boiler plate” language.  Here is an article examining a series of recent cases in which a court has expanded an arbitration panel's authority.


For a copy this article click here


Sharon Angelino and Brian Biggie



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Second Circuit Remands $34 Million Jury Verdict Against Reinsurer Back to Lower Court to Address Which Claims Should Be Arbitrated

AXA Versicherung AG v. New Hampshire Insurance Co.

(2nd Cir. [NY] October 14, 2009)


An action was filed against a reinsurer relating to two reinsurance contracts.  The plaintiff alleged that the reinsurer misrepresented or failed to disclose certain material facts in connection with the negotiation of these contracts and sued for intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, material nondisclosure, and breach of the duty of utmost good faith.  After an arbitration proceeding was stayed, the matter was tried before a jury in the

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Second Circuit Remands $34M Jury Verdict Against AIG

AXA Versicherung AG v. New Hampshire Ins. Co.

(S.D.N.Y. Oct. 6, 2009)


A federal judge remanded a $34 million jury verdict against AIG and its subsidiaries for fraudulent inducement involving reinsurance facilities. On appeal, AIG argued that the verdict could not stand because the plaintiff’s claims should have been arbitrated or, alternatively, that they should have been tried by the bench, not a jury. The plaintiff countered that AIG waived its right to arbitration. It also argued that a jury trial was appropriate because …

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7th Circuit Affirms Arbitration Award Despite Substitution of Arbitrator

WellPoint, Inc. v. John Hancock Life Insurance Co.

(7th Circuit, August 7, 2009)


Pursuant to an arbitration clause in the transaction agreement, two insurers were required to submit their dispute to an arbitration panel to determine their rights and obligations under the contract.  Each insurer selected an arbitrator and a third one was selected by the American Arbitration Association as the “umpire” arbitrator.  However, before the arbitration was set to begin, the arbitrator chosen by on one of the parities resigned.

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