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Disagree with the Arbitration Award can we take any legal recourse?

Palmdale, CA |

Our company did not finish out a cleaning contract we had with a general contractor. The general contractor had 2 invoices to show the cost he incurred. One of the invoices he provided proof he paid. The other invoice (window cleaning company) he did not provide proof that he incurred the cost. I contacted the window cleaning company and the owner stated they never received payment since 05/2012. Almost 8 month today. We tried to do a notice of correction to the award and was denied. The Arbitration department said since there was no typographical error has been made the Arbitrator finds no grounds for correction under purview of Business and profession code 7085.5.

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Attorney answers 4


Once you agree to arbitrate a claim, your rights to challenge an award are limited under the law. You could file a petition in court to challenge the award, but the grounds are limited. It does not appear that you have grounds here. Even though the contractor has not paid the window cleaning company, it was invoiced for the work and is still legally responsible to them. As such, you would not have a right to challenge the award just because the window bill was not paid.



He does not have intentions to pay. I have a statement from the owner of the window company and an email form the window company claiming that the general contractor said they are not going to pay because the window cleaning company damaged there windows worth $14,000, therefore he has not and will not pay them. SO how is it he incurred cost when he did not pay them. It has been 8 months.

Thomas Patrick Quinn Jr

Thomas Patrick Quinn Jr


A couple of points are worth mentioning here. First, as others have noted, you apparently have taken this issue up with the arbitrator already on a motion to correct the award. The motion was denied. As set forth above, your only recourse now is a motion to vacate or modify before the Superior Court. The grounds are extremely limited and, based on the limited facts that I have, it does not appear that you would be successful. As to his intentions, they are not relevant. If he has a legal obligation to pay the window contractor, his intention to pay on the obligation is not significant. The legal obligation to pay the window company is what was likely presented to the arbitrator as part of the evidence on which the award was based. It is not a cost incurred, but a legal obligation. Either way, a proper basis to award damages. If the evidence you have, ie,, the email from the window company, was presented to the arbitrator at the time of the arbitration, perhaps the result would have been different.


Overturning an arbitration award is very difficult. Only limited statutory reasons are available. Hard to say without all the facts. If the award is large enough you can have an attorney evaluate.


Under California Bus & Prof. Code 7085.5(s), upon written application of a party to the arbitration, the arbitrator may correct the award upon the following grounds: (1) there was an evident miscalculation of figures or an evident mistake in the description of any person, things, or property referred to in the award; or (2) there is any other clerical error in the award, not affecting
the merits of the controversy. An application for correction of the award shall be made within 10
calendar days of the date of service of the award by serving a copy of the application on the arbitrator, and all other parties to the arbitration. From the facts you've provided, it seems you've already taken this step and the arbitrator has denied your application.

Any appeal from the denial of the application shall be filed with a court of competent jurisdiction and a true copy thereof shall be filed with the arbitrator or appointed arbitration association within 30 calendar days after the award has become final.

Please be advised that this answer is for general informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship.


If you asked the arbitrator to correct the award, and he denied your request, then your only available option is to file a motion to vacate the award in Superior Court. Getting an arbitration award vacated is difficult and can be granted only under limited circumstances. I am not sure that the facts you post would be sufficient to overturn the award.
You should contact a construction or litigation attorney who can review the documents and give you a better estimate of your chances.

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