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Home / Opinions / Courts / 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals / Civil Practice: Arbitration-Threshold Question-Authority

Civil Practice: Arbitration-Threshold Question-Authority

Where appellant, a federal crop-insurance company, challenged a district court’s order vacating an arbitration award in a dispute arising from the company’s issuance of a crop-insurance policy to a South Dakota farmer, the crop policy incorporated American Arbitration Association rules, so the parties agreed to allow the arbitrator to determine the threshold question of arbitrability, and there was no showing that the arbitrator exceeded his powers, and the arbitrator’s findings also supported the denial of the farmer’s claim on the ground that he abandoned his crops, and even if the arbitrator exceeded his powers by making a good-farming-practices determination, the error was harmless because he did not exceed his powers in denying the claim based on the appraised value of the crop.

Judgment is affirmed in part; reversed in part; remanded.

Balvin v. Rain and Hail LLC (MLW No. 74222/Case No. 18-3018 – 8o pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Gruender, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of South Dakota, Piersol, J. (William Fuller, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, argued for appellant) (J. Grant Ballard, Little Rock, Arkansas, argued for appellee).