A federal district court in New York entered an order enjoining an attempt at a second arbitration initiated by Equitas Insurance Limited and Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London against Arrowood Indemnity Company. The second attempt at arbitration comes after five years of dispute, which resulted in a $45 million arbitration award in favor of Arrowood. After the arbitral award and a court order confirming the award, the Underwriters filed a motion for post-judgment discovery and relief from judgment based on a document that the Underwriters had obtained in another proceeding against Arrowood that purportedly showed the disingenuity of Arrowood’s stance in the arbitration. The court denied the motion, finding that such a motion “cannot be used to collaterally attack an arbitration award for misconduct in the arbitration in the guise of an attack on the judgment confirming it.” Following the court’s order, the Underwriters demanded a second arbitration. In response, Arrowood filed a motion seeking to enforce the court’s earlier order.
The court held that Section 10 of the Federal Arbitration Act provides “the exclusive means of addressing and redressing wrongdoing in an arbitration proceeding” and that any such grounds must be raised within three months of the award. Finding that the Underwriters’ second attempt at arbitration was “in direct contravention of the FAA” and that a second arbitration cannot be used to undo the award of the first, the court enjoined the Underwriters’ attempts at a second arbitration—perhaps bringing the dispute to a conclusion. Arrowood Indemnity Co. v. Equitas Insurance Limited, No. 1:13-cv-07680-DLC (USDC S.D.N.Y. July 30, 2015).