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Owner's Right To Arbitrate Remains Intact 2 Years After Suit

Friday, July 07, 2017 06:34 am

 

Arbitration---Waiver

Legoland Discovery Centre (Dallas), LLC v. Superior Builders, LLC, 2017 Tex. App. Lexis 3843 (April 27, 2017)

Even in close cases, the presumption against waiver of the right to arbitrate governs, according to RSL Funding, LLC v. Pippins, 499 S.W.3d 430 (Tex. 2016). Indeed, in this case, a contractor failed to carry the heavy burden of proving the project owner had relinquished that right.

Legoland Discovery Center (Dallas), LLC (Legoland) hired Superior Builders, LLC (Superior) to construct a water feature for its entertainment center in Grapevine, Texas. During the project, Superior allegedly failed to complete its work, damaged adjacent property, and left is subcontractors unpaid, Legoland terminated the parties' contract, leaving a balance due to the contractor of $90,000. Superior sued for breach of contract, violation of the Prompt Payment Act, quantum meruit, and promissory estoppel. Legoland filed a motion to compel Superior's claims to arbitration, based on the parties' contract. A trial court denied that motion, finding that Legoland had waived its right to arbitration. This appeal followed.

The contract included this clause: "Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this contract, or the breach thereof, shall be settled by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association under its Construction Industry Arbitration Rules, and judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof."

Waiver of this type of provision can be express or implied. G.T. Leach Builders, LLC v. Sapphire V.P., LP, 458 S.W.3d 511 (Tex. 2015). Here, Superior argued that Legoland[...]

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