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Rhode Island Supreme Court Rules That Despite Deference Afforded Arbitrator, the Award Must Be Vacated Where Arbitrator's Decision Was Contrary to Contract Language

Nappa Constr. Mgmt., LLC v. Flynn, 2017 R.I. LEXIS 13 (R.I. Jan. 23, 2017)

Author: Jane Fox Lehman

3/22/2017

Read the full post at Constructlaw

Rhode Island Supreme Court Rules That Despite Deference Afforded Arbitrator, the Award Must Be Vacated Where Arbitrator's Decision Was Contrary to Contract Language

Caroline and Vincent Flynn (the Flynns) contracted with Nappa Construction Management, LLC (Nappa) to construct an automobile repair facility. The parties executed the American Institute of Architects’ A101-2007 Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor. The contract provided that the owner could terminate the contract for cause; could order the contractor to suspend the work without cause “for such period of time as the Owner may determine;” and could terminate the contract for convenience.

Six months after Nappa commenced work, the Flynns directed Nappa to “immediately cease any further work on the project,” contending that Nappa was not constructing the flooring according to the project plans or industry standards. Thereafter, Nappa submitted a payment application that included expenses for the disputed flooring, which the Flynns declined to pay. Nappa notified the Flynns that they were in breach of the contract and filed for mediation. Nappa ultimately terminated the contract for nonpayment. 

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