Motion to Vacate Decision of Arbitrator Denied

Taylor, as personal representative of the Estate of Latham v. Methodist Home for the Aging, etc., [Ms. SC-2022-0681, May 12, 2023] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2023). The Court (Stewart, J.; Parker, C.J., and Wise, Sellers, and Cook, JJ., concur) affirms the Jefferson Circuit Court’s denial of Plaintiff Angelia Taylor’s motion to vacate an arbitrator’s entry of a summary judgment in favor of Defendants dismissing claims for the wrongful death of Willie Latham. The Court explains “[i]n considering a motion to vacate an arbitration award, a trial court is constrained in its review; it may only ascertain whether one of the specific grounds to vacate the arbitration award recognized in 9 U.S.C. § 10 exists.” Ms. *7.

The Court holds

The arbitrator’s failure to rule in Taylor’s favor and the arbitrator’s failure to accept her proposed expert as a similarly situated health-care provider under the 1987 AMLA are not evidence of partiality. Taylor did not present the circuit court with any allegation of bias or partiality on the part of the arbitrator, and she did not present any evidence “that gives rise to an impression of bias that is direct, definite, and capable of demonstration, as distinct from a ‘mere appearance’ of bias that is remote, uncertain, and speculative.”

Ms. **8-9, quoting Waverlee Homes, Inc. v. McMichael, 855 So. 2d 493, 508 (Ala. 2003).

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