Policyholder Nero filed a putative class action lawsuit against American Family Insurance Company, alleging common law and statutory claims. American Family moved to dismiss, asserting that the claims were subject to mandatory arbitration, among other grounds. Shortly thereafter, on March 1, Nero notified American Family that an arbitration hearing would be commencing on March 5 in a different state and in front of a single arbitrator. American Family sought a temporary restraining order from the court enjoining the arbitration. American Family argued that it did not have sufficient time to prepare and, furthermore, that the location and designation of a single arbitrator was contrary to the terms of the arbitration provision in Nero’s insurance policy. It further argued that it would be irreparably harmed by having to “oppose confirmation of an unjust arbitration award” in a different jurisdiction. The court denied American Family’s request. The court stated that American Family’s contention that the arbitrator would not follow the proper procedure for selecting arbitrators was only speculative, and, furthermore, that FAA section 10(a)(3) permits vacatur where an arbitrator wrongfully refuses to postpone an arbitration hearing. Nero v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., Case No. 11-02717 (USDC D. Colo. Mar. 2, 2012).
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Insurer denied request to enjoin speedy arbitration proceeding
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