Court Construes Reinsurance Participation Agreement, Rejects Venue Objection, and Confirms Arbitration Award

Carlton Fields

O’Connell Landscape Maintenance, Inc. (O’Connell) and Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Co. (AUCRA) entered into a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA). After a dispute arose related to the agreement, the parties entered arbitration in California, which resulted in an award to AUCRA of $38,960 in attorney fees and $43,170.44 in costs. AUCRA petitioned a California federal district court to confirm the award, but O’Connell opposed the petition, arguing that the RPA selected Nebraska as the exclusive jurisdiction for enforcing the award. The court disagreed, finding that the RPA obligated only O’Connell to submit to the jurisdiction of Nebraska. The RPA did not designate Nebraska as the exclusive jurisdiction for AUCRA to seek enforcement of the award. The court rejected an additional argument by O’Connell regarding the service of the petition, and confirmed the award. O’Connell noticed its appeal on July 6, 2018. Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Co., Inc. v. O’Connell Landscape Maintenance, Inc., Case No. 18-cv-00683 (USDC C.D. Cal. June 25, 2018) (order) & (USDC C.D. Cal. July 6, 2018) (notice of appeal).


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