ErgoBilt, Inc. v. Neutral Posture Ergonomics, Inc.
United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12459 (2002)
ErgoBilt, Inc. (plaintiff), a chair manufacturer, accused a competitor, Neutral Posture Ergonomics, Inc. (NPE) (defendant), of breach of contract, false advertising, tortious interference, and unfair competition. After ErgoBilt filed suit, NPE counterclaimed for breach of contract, tortious interference, and trademark and patent infringement. ErgoBilt and NPE agreed to arbitrate the claims, and the case was referred to an arbitrator. Both ErgoBilt and NPE sought to recover damages, including attorney’s fees, and the stipulation was that attorney’s fees would be awarded to the prevailing party, but only for claims that were successful in arbitration. During the arbitration, ErgoBilt did not raise any objection regarding bias or evident partiality of the arbitrator. The arbitrator ruled in favor of NPE, awarded NPE money damages on the trademark-infringement counterclaim only, and ordered ErgoBilt to pay all of NPE’s attorney’s fees, including those unrelated to the successful trademark-infringement counterclaim. NPE motioned the court to confirm the arbitration award. ErgoBilt moved to vacate the arbitration award. ErgoBilt argued that the arbitration award must be vacated because the arbitrator had evident partiality, and the award of attorney’s fees was arbitrary, capricious, and exceeded the arbitrator’s authority.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lindsay, J.)
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