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JEFFREY M. BROWN ASSOC. v. ALLSTAR DRYWALL & ACOUS.

April 2, 2002

JEFFREY M. BROWN ASSOCIATES, INC. VS. ALLSTAR DRYWALL & ACOUSTICS, INC.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joyner, J.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This action has been brought before this Court on Petition of Jeffrey M. Brown Associates, Inc. to Vacate Arbitration Award and the Cross-Motion to Confirm Arbitration Award of Respondent, Allstar Drywall & Acoustics, Inc. For the reasons outlined below, the petition to vacate shall be denied and the motion to confirm shall be granted.

Background

On or about October 8, 1999, JMB commenced suit against Allstar in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County for breach of contract and breach of warranty alleging that Allstar had failed to perform its obligations under the agreement and that this failure caused JMB to retain other subcontractors to finish the job costing it an additional $323,664. JMB further alleged that it overpaid Allstar for work which it did not perform in the amount of $312,104. Allstar counter-claimed against JMB, alleging that it was still owed the balance due on the revised contract price in the amount of $158,207 and that as a consequence of JMB's failure to perform its obligations under the agreement, Allstar incurred additional labor and other costs in the amount of $358,809.

In August, 2000, the parties agreed to submit their dispute to binding arbitration to be conducted in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association and "other state and federal rules," and filed an Order to mark the Philadelphia action discontinued and ended. Following some nine hearings between August 21 and October 5, 2001, the arbitrator issued his decision on January 2, 2002 in which he found in favor of Allstar in the net amount of $173,341.*fn1 It is this award which JMB now seeks to vacate and Allstar seeks to confirm.

Discussion

By its petition, JMB avers that the arbitration award should be vacated because the arbitrator erred in (1) not awarding JMB its attorneys' fees on its affirmative claims, (2) failing to find that the several partial releases barred Allstar's claims for an equitable adjustment, and (3) failing to find that Allstar's claim for inefficiencies was devoid of merit.

It is clear and the parties agree that this action is governed by the provisions of the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1, et. seq. Confirmation and vacation of arbitration awards are determined under Sections 9 and 10 of the Act, which reads as follows in relevant part:

§ 9. Award of arbitrators; confirmation; jurisdiction; procedure

If the parties in their agreement have agreed that a judgment of the court shall be entered upon the award made pursuant to the arbitration, and shall specify the court, then at any time within one year after the award is made any party to the arbitration may apply to the court so specified for an order confirming the award, and thereupon the court must grant such an order confirming the award, and thereupon the court must grant such an order unless the award is vacated, modified, or corrected as prescribed in sections 10 and 11 of this title. If no court is specified in the agreement of the parties, then such application may be made to the United States court in and for the district within which such award was made. Notice of the application shall be served upon the adverse party, and thereupon the court shall have jurisdiction of such party as though he had appeared generally in the proceeding. . . .

§ 10 Same; vacation; grounds; rehearing

(a) In any of the following cases the United States court in and for the district wherein the award was made may make an order vacating the award upon the ...

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