Order Denying Compliance with Appraisal Provision Not Appealable under Ala. R. App. P. 4(d)

Great American Insurance Company v. Crystal Shores Owners Assoc., Inc., [Ms. SC-2023-0092, Dec. 22, 2023] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2023). In a per curiam opinion, the Court (Wise, Bryan, Sellers, Mendheim, Stewart, and Cook, JJ., concur; Shaw, J., concurs in the result; Mitchell, J., concurs in the result, with opinion, which Parker, C.J., joins) dismisses Great American Insurance Company’s appeal from the Baldwin County Circuit Court’s order denying Great American’s motion to compel compliance with the policy’s appraisal provision.

On September 30, 2022, Great American filed a motion, contending that the amount of loss claimed by its insured Crystal Shores Owner Association, Inc (“Crystal Shores”) was to be determined by an appraisal procedure mandated by the subject commercial property and casualty policy. Ms. *7. “Great American contended that the appraisal clause was a written arbitration agreement pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.” Ms. *9. Contending there were issues unrelated to the amount of loss that would not be resolved by the appraisal procedure, Crystal Shores successfully opposed the motion. Ms. *10.

The Court concludes the appraisal clause was not an arbitration clause under Federal or Alabama law definitions of arbitration. Consequently, the Court dismisses Great American’s appeal because the non-final order from which it appealed was not “an order granting or denying a motion to compel arbitration … appealable as a matter of right” pursuant to Ala. R. App. P. 4(d). Ms. *16.

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