Second Circuit Holds Arbitrators Cannot, Under the Federal Arbitration Act, Compel Pre-Hearing Discovery of Documents of Third Parties, Except That Production May be Compelled at a Preliminary Hearing Before an Arbitrator

Life Receivables Trust v. Syndicate 102 at Lloyd’s of London
2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 24977 (Nov. 25, 2008)

The Second Circuit held that section 7 of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) does not permit an arbitrator to compel pre-hearing document discovery from non-parties to the arbitration. However, the court noted that a non party could be subpoenaed to produce documents at a preliminary hearing on non-merits issues before one or more arbitrators. Continue reading “Second Circuit Holds Arbitrators Cannot, Under the Federal Arbitration Act, Compel Pre-Hearing Discovery of Documents of Third Parties, Except That Production May be Compelled at a Preliminary Hearing Before an Arbitrator”

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds That, Absent Express Reservation Of Rights, Release Of Contractor Also Discharges Surety

Kiski Area Sch. Dist. v. Mid-State Surety Corp.
2008 Pa. LEXIS 2260 (Dec. 17, 1988)

Kiski Area School District (“the District”) entered into an agreement with contractor, Lanmark, for the construction and renovation of an elementary school. Mid-State Surety Corporation (“Midstate”) provided a performance bond for the project naming Lanmark as principal and the District as obligee.

The District became dissatisfied with the quality and timeliness of Lanmark’s work, declared it in default, withheld final payment and demanded that Mid-State assume responsibility for the remaining work. The District did not remit the remaining contract balance to Mid-State. Lanmark filed suit against the District seeking payment of the contract balance (the “Lanmark Matter”). The District counterclaimed and joined Mid-State. The District also filed a separate action against Lanmark and Mid-State (“the District Matter”), which was stayed pending resolution of the Lanmark Matter. Continue reading “Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds That, Absent Express Reservation Of Rights, Release Of Contractor Also Discharges Surety”

Vermont District Court Declines To Apply Exception To Economic Loss Rule To Contractor’s Claims Against Architect

Hunt Construction Group, Inc. v. Brennan Beer Gorman / Architects, P.C.
2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93754 (D. Vt. 2008)

In declining to apply an exception to the economic loss rule, the Court dismissed a contractor’s negligence claims against the project architect (and other design professionals).

In 2005, Spruce Peak Realty, LLC (“Owner”), retained Plaintiff, Hunt Construction Group (“Contractor”), to construct a resort hotel in Stowe, Vermont. Owner and Contractor executed a contract setting forth their respective rights and responsibilities on the Project. Owner then contracted with an architect, mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers, a structural engineer, and an interior designer (collectively, the “Design Professional Defendants”). Contractor was to build the Project according to the plans and specifications the Design Professional Defendants provided under contracts with Owner. Continue reading “Vermont District Court Declines To Apply Exception To Economic Loss Rule To Contractor’s Claims Against Architect”