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Certain Underwriting Members of Lloyd's of London v. Florida Department of Financial Services

892 F.3d 501 (2nd Cir. 2018)

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Certain Underwriting Members of Lloyd’s of London v. Florida Department of Financial Services

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

892 F.3d 501 (2nd Cir. 2018)

Facts

Insurance Company of the Americas (ICA) insured workers’ compensation claims for the construction industry. When ICA became insolvent, the Florida Department of Financial Services (defendant) served as ICA’s receiver. Certain Underwriting Members of Lloyd’s of London (plaintiff) reinsured ICA under contracts called reinsurance treaties, which required arbitration of any disputes. After the underwriters denied coverage of $12.5 million worth of claims, ICA demanded arbitration under the treaties. The treaties required each side to choose a “disinterested” arbitrator, who together chose a neutral third to form a panel of three. ICA chose an arbitrator who already had extensive business relationships and connections with ICA, but the arbitrator did not disclose them and instead denied any close association. The arbitration panel awarded ICA damages of $1.5 million, and the underwriters petitioned to vacate the award on multiple grounds. The court vacated the arbitration award on grounds of evident partiality, and ICA appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Jacobs, J.)

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