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BARKER v. GOVERNMENT EMPLES. INS. CO.

March 24, 1972

Ervin BARKER, Petitioner,
v.
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY, Respondent


John H. Pratt, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: PRATT

JOHN H. PRATT, District Judge.

 This cause comes before the Court on petitioner's motion to confirm an arbitration award. Respondent, petitioner's insurance carrier, opposes the motion to confirm and moves the Court to vacate the award and direct a rehearing. The Court, having considered the oral arguments and all of the pleadings and memoranda submitted by the parties, finds that the award should remain undisturbed.

 Respondent's contentions, which will be treated separately, are basically as follows:

 (1) that the award is invalid on its face because the arbitrator did not render the award within thirty days of the close of the hearings;

 (2) that the arbitrator was guilty of partiality and/or misconduct by accepting into evidence certain medical reports;

 (3) that the arbitrator exceeded his powers or imperfectly executed them by misconstruing the specific language of the insurance policy.

 1. Time of the Award.

 At first glance, the American Arbitration Association Accident Claims Rules (hereinafter Rules) might appear to be definite and inflexible with respect to the time of the award. Section 28 of the Rules provides as follows:

 
"The Arbitrator shall render his Award promptly and, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, not later than thirty days from the date of the close of the hearings or the reopened hearings."

 However, Section 22 of the Rules indicates that although hearings are generally declared closed when all the evidence has been presented

 
"[if] briefs or documents are to be filed, the hearings shall be declared closed as of the final date set by the Arbitrator for the receipt of such briefs or documents. The time limit within which the Arbitrator is required to make his award shall commence to run upon the closing of the hearings."
 
"The parties may modify any period of time by mutual agreement. The AAA for good cause may extend any period of time established by these Rules except the time for making the Award. The AAA shall advise the parties ...

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