A Connecticut federal court put to bed a case which started out as a petition to confirm an arbitration award between reinsurer and retrocessionaire, but “transmogrified over the years to become the antithesis of the speedy, inexpensive dispute resolution process that the Federal Arbitration Act (‘FAA’) intends.”
Trustmark and Arrowood were parties to certain retrocession agreements. Trustmark disputed its payment obligations and submitted the dispute to arbitration. After the arbitration panel found that Trustmark was not responsible for some $9.4 million of disputed payments, Trustmark petitioned the court to confirm the award. The court confirmed the award in 2003. Some three years later, Arrowood moved for contempt, alleging Trustmark had an obligation arising from the Court’s order to pursue set offs on Arrowood’s behalf, and that it failed to do so with regard to certain insolvent insurers. Ultimately, the Court kicked the issue back to the panel, which found that Trustmark may have an obligation to pay Arrowood the $9.4 million, if it was unsuccessful in pursuing payment from the insurers, but that the factual issues that would determine that issue were beyond the scope of the arbitration. Thus, the parties went back to court, and built an evidentiary record on the issue of whether Trustmark adequately fulfilled its duties to pursue setoff on Arrowood’s behalf. Accepting the factual record, but not the recommendations of the magistrate who handled the hearings, the Court denied Arrowood’s motions for enforcement and contempt. No 3:03-cv-01000 (USDC D. Conn. Mar. 29, 2013).