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Court reaffirms right to determine the legitimacy of an arbitration award

The owner of the Fuego Grill, LLC, sued Domestic Uniform Rental to establish that it the grill was not bound by an arbitration agreement which the owner purportedly signed with the Rental company.  The Plaintiff argued that he signed two documents presented during a rush of business and which were represented to be non-binding estimates of service.  In fact, they included a one-year contract for services which Domestic attempted to enforce through a binding arbitration agreement in the contract.

The trial court refused to enforce the arbitration agreement and Domestic appealed. The Court of Appeals agreed with the trial judge that the Circuit Court enjoys jurisdiction over the question of whether a binding arbitration agreement exists.  For that reason, it refused to grant Domestic summary disposition of the Circuit Court action.  Republican judge Markey would overturn the lower court, holdilng the owner of the Grill to the obligations set forth in the document, regardless of his testimony regarding the circumstances of the signing.

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