A labor arbitration award was recently vacated in an action involving a dispute between Murphy Oil and United Steelworkers AFL-CIO regarding post-Katrina restoration of an oil facility. Because a key Union witness was prevented from attending the hearing due to health concerns, the parties entered into an agreement that if the arbitrator ruled against Murphy’s, the arbitrator would convene an evidentiary hearing. Following the conference and briefing by both parties, the arbitrator issued an award in favor of the Union. Murphy sought to vacate the award, and the Union sought to enforce the award. Noting the extreme deference paid to arbitration rulings, the court determined that the arbitrator’s failure to convene an evidentiary hearing as per the parties’ agreement was fundamentally unfair, vacated the award and remanded the matter to the arbitrator. Murphy then filed a Motion to Amend asking the court to direct the parties to select a new arbitrator, as the original failed to retain and no longer had jurisdiction. The motion is pending. Murphy Oil USA, Inc. v. United Steel Workers AFL-CIO Local 8363, Case No. 08-3899, (USDC E.D. La. Mar. 4, 2009).