United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
GLENN J. BERNARD
KABCO BUILDERS, INC., et al.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
H.L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is Plaintiff's “Motion to Vacate
Arbitration Award” (Doc. 33). Plaintiff contends the
arbitration award should be vacated because it only awarded
equitable relief and did not award attorney's fees. It is
recommended that the Motion to Vacate (Doc. 33) be denied.
Glenn J. Bernard (“Bernard”) filed a petition and
amended petition in a Louisiana state court against
Defendants Kabco Builders, Inc. (“Kabco”)
(manufactured home builder), Andries and Associates, L.L.C.
d/b/a Evangeline Home Center (“Andries”)
(manufactured home seller), and LA Movers, L.L.C. (“LA
Movers”) (manufactured home mover) (Doc. 1). This case
was removed by Defendants, alleging a federal question
pursuant to the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act (“Magnuson
Moss”), 15 U.S.C. § 2301, et seq., and,
pursuant to this Court's supplemental jurisdiction (28
U.S.C. § 1367), the New Manufactured and Modular Home
Warranty Act (“Home Warranty Act”), La. R.S.
51:912.1, et seq. Bernard seeks specific and general
damages, interest, attorney's fees, and costs for a
defective new manufactured home he purchased.
answered the complaints (Docs. 11). Defendants then filed
Motions to Compel Arbitration and to Stay (Doc. 13), which
were granted (Doc. 21).
arbitration, Bernard filed a “Motion to
Reopen/Reinstate Case and to Vacate Arbitration Award”
(Doc. 33). The Motion to Reopen/Reinstate Case was granted
(Doc. 37). Defendants filed an opposition to the Motion to
Vacate Arbitration Award (Doc. 38), to which Bernard replied
Motion to Vacate Arbitration Award (Doc. 33) is now before
the Court for disposition.
Law and Analysis
asks the Court to vacate the arbitration award pursuant to 9
U.S.C. § 10(a)(4), contending the arbitrator exceeded
his powers. Bernard argues the arbitrator erred by: (1)
failing to apply the New Manufactured and Modular Home
Warranty Act, La. R.S. 51:912.1-912.10, and the Magnuson-Moss
Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2301; (2) awarding equitable
relief (ordering Defendants to make repairs) instead of
financial relief; and (3) failing to award attorney's
fees. Bernard further contends the arbitrator's
“award” is indefinite and uncertain, and that a
judgment cannot be entered upon it. Bernard asks the Court to
award specific and general monetary damages, attorney's
fees, and costs.
Scope of Review
Federal Arbitration Act reflects a national policy favoring
arbitration. See Cooper v. WestEnd Capital Mgmt.,
L.L.C., 832 F.3d 534, 543-44 (5th Cir. 2016) (citing
Hall Street Assocs., L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc., 552
U.S. 576, 581 (2008)). In light of the strong federal policy
favoring arbitration, judicial review of an arbitration award
is extraordinarily narrow. See Cooper, 832 F.3d at
543-44 (citing Rain CII Carbon, LLC v. ConocoPhillips
Co., 674 F.3d 469, 471-72 (5th Cir. 2012)); see also
Hall Street Assocs., L.L.C., 552 U.S. at 588. Courts
must defer to the decision of the arbitrator. See
id. The Fifth Circuit consistently has held that
arbitrators are not required to disclose or explain the
reasons underlying an award. See Antwine v. Prudential
Bache Securities, Inc., 899 F.2d 410, 412 (5th Cir.
1990); see also The Houston Lighting & Power Co. v.
Int'l Brotherhood of Elec. Workers, 71 F.3d 179, 186
(5th Cir. 1995). If the basis for the award can be rationally
inferred from the underlying contract, the reviewing court
must confirm the award. See Anderman/Smith Operating Co.
v. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., 918 F.2d 1215, 1218 (5th
Cir. 1990), cert. den., 501 U.S. 1206 (1991).
grounds for vacating an award under the FAA are set forth ...