Exploraciones y Perforadora Central, S.A. de C.V. v. Axxis Drilling, No. 17-cv-2833 (E.D. La. Oct. 4, 2017) [click for opinion]

Exploraciones y Perforadora Central, S.A. de C.V. sought confirmation of a AAA arbitration award against Axxis Drilling for breaches of charter agreements. Axxis did not object to confirmation, but objected to the award of post-judgment interest and sought an offset for amounts found due to it on its counterclaim. Because no challenge to confirmation had been raised, the court granted the motion to confirm the arbitration award which awarded damages to both parties.

The court then turned to the issue of post-judgment interest. It first recognized that a confirmed arbitration award is "equivalent, in every respect, to any other judgment entered by the court …." As a result, post-judgment interest was required to be awarded at the statutory rate unless the parties specifically contracted for a different rate.

The court found that the parties did not so contract. It thus concluded that the 12% interest awarded in the arbitration award applied only to the period up to confirmation and entry of judgment. Post-judgment interest would apply thereafter at the statutory rate.

Finally, the court turned to the request to recognize an offset for amounts due to Axxis before entering judgment (and thus calculating interest) under the doctrine of "compensation." The court concluded that such an offset was appropriate, deducted the amounts found due to Axxis from the amount found due to Exploraciones, and entered judgment for the difference plus post-judgment interest.