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Arbitrators May Award More Than Permitted By Law

Most Consumers contend that arbitration awards favor large corporations that insert arbitration clauses in consumer and employment agreements, in part because the Arbitration Organizations and arbitrators receive all their repeat business from the Corporations, not the consumers and employees. If the arbitrators ruled consistently in favor of the consumers and employees the Corporations would eliminate the arbitration clauses or use a different arbitration service.  Once an arbitration award is issued however, even for an amount not allowed by law, it will normally be conformed as a judgment by the courts.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed a District Court judgment enforcing an arbitration award even though it awarded substantially more than allowed by the limit of liability clause in a construction contract.  The Court ruled that mistakes of fact or law by the arbitrator are not grounds for vacating the award.  Beumer Corp v ProEnergy Services, ( U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth CIrcuit, August 2018)

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