United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division
UNITED STATES FOR THE USE AND BENEFIT OF METROPOWER, INC., Plaintiff,
GSC CONSTRUCTION, INC. AND DARWIN NATIONAL ASSURANCE COMPANY D/B/A ALLIED WORLD INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants.
T. TREADWELL, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
GSC Construction, Inc. (“GSC”) and Allied World
Insurance Company (“Allied World, ” formerly
known as Darwin National Assurance Company) have moved to
vacate the arbitration award entered against them on February
19, 2019. Doc. 21. In turn, Plaintiff MetroPower, Inc. moved
to confirm the arbitration award and for entry of judgment
against the Defendants, jointly and severally, in the amount
of $100, 377.49. Doc. 25. For the following reasons, the
motion to vacate (Doc. 21) is DENIED and the
motion to confirm and for entry of judgment (Doc. 25) is
matter arises from a renovation project of Hangar Dock
Building 54 at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins,
Georgia (“the Project”). The United States Army
Corps of Engineers was the owner of the Project, GSC was the
general contractor, and MetroPower subcontracted with GSC to
provide labor, material equipment, and other services to
complete the Project. See generally Doc. 1. Allied
World was GSC's surety under a payment bond issued for
the Project. See generally id.
January 5, 2018, MetroPower brought suit against the
Defendants, alleging, among other things, that GSC breached
its contractual obligation by failing to pay MetroPower all
amounts due under the contract and that Allied World, as
GSC's surety pursuant to a Miller Act payment bond, is
liable for GSC's nonpayment. See generally Id.
After responding to the complaint, GSC moved to stay the case
pending mediation and arbitration and moved to transfer the
case to the Southern District of Georgia. Doc. 13. The motion
to stay was granted in part and the motion to transfer was
denied. Doc. 19. Accordingly, pursuant to the contract, the
parties conducted mediation and arbitration in Augusta,
February 15, 2019, after considering the pleadings,
testimonial and documentary evidence, and the parties'
arguments, the arbitrator awarded MetroPower $100, 377.49 for
which the Defendants are jointly and severally liable to pay.
Doc. 24-1 at 2.
initial matter, the Court assumes, as the parties do, that
the Georgia Arbitration Code, O.C.G.A. § 9-9-1 et seq.,
is the governing statute. “The Arbitration Code demands
that courts give extraordinary deference to the arbitration
process and awards.” Brookfield Country Club, Inc.
v. St. James-Brookfield, LLC, 287 Ga. 408, 411, 696
S.E.2d 663, 666 (2010) (quotation marks and citation
omitted). Therefore, to not “frustrate the legislative
purpose of avoiding litigation by resort to arbitration,
” courts are “severely limited” in vacating
an arbitration award. Id. (quotation marks and citation
omitted). Specifically, the Code provides five grounds for
vacating an arbitration award:
(1) Corruption, fraud, or misconduct in procuring the award;
(2) Partiality of an arbitrator appointed as a neutral;
(3) An overstepping by the arbitrators of their authority or
such imperfect execution of it that a final and definite
award upon the subject matter submitted was not made;
(4) A failure to follow the procedure of this part, unless
the party applying to vacate the award continued with the
arbitration with notice of this failure and without
(5) The arbitrator's manifest disregard of the law.
O.C.G.A. § 9-9-13(b). The burden is on the party
challenging the arbitration award to demonstrate the
existence of a statutory ground for vacatur.Greene v.
Hundley, 266 Ga. 592, 596 n.24, 468 S.E.2d 350, 353 n.24
(1996). “The court shall confirm an award upon
application of a party made within one year after its
delivery to him, unless the award is ...