Judge overturns arbitrator’s award in accident case
By:   //  Arbitration

A state Supreme Court judge overturned an arbitrator’s decision to award  $650,000 to a Dutchess County, Nw York couple who were injured in a car accident with a City of Rye police officer more than three years ago.

Detective Joseph Verille was traveling north in an unmarked police vehicle on Interstate 684 near Exit 8 in North Salem when he rear-ended Louis Jeanette’s car on April 19, 2012, according to the original lawsuit.

Jeanette was taken to Putnam Hospital Center, according to the accident report included in the lawsuit. The case was filed by Jeanette and his wife, Lynne, and named Verille and the City of Rye as defendants.

The case went to arbitration and the arbitrator, former state Supreme Court Justice Louis Barone, ruled in favor of Jeanette and awarded the $650,000 for back injuries, a concussion and anxiety.

The city appealed and State Supreme Court Justice Mary Smith said in her Dec. 3 decision Barone made his ruling without hearing arguments from the defendants.

“Judge Barone had attempted to circumscribe the defendants’ rights to present material and pertinent evidence by his advance rulings that he would not allow testimony,” Smith ruled.

The matter is not over. Lawyers for the Jeanette’s will appeal Smith’s ruling.

It is rare for an arbitrator’s ruling to be overturned. Although there are many cases seeking the nullification of an arbitrator’s award, few have been successful.

Image: Flickr/Ben Kinrade

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