In a case concerning a contract for the construction of a pipe conveyor system, ProEnergy Services, LLC, and its surety Western Surety Company (collectively, “ProEnergy”), appealed a judgment confirming an arbitration award that included payment of attorneys’ fees and expenses to Beumer Corporation and Beumer Kansas City, LLC (collectively, “Beumer”). ProEnergy appealed, specifically questioning the arbitrator’s conclusion that the contract’s limitation on liability did not extend to attorney’s fees, and that an award of damages plus attorneys’ fees could exceed the cap.
The Eight Circuit affirmed the district court’s confirmation, concluding that the arbitrator acted within the scope of his authority and did not, as ProEnergy argued, “specifically and expressly disregard an unequivocal choice-of-law provision.” Instead, the court found that the arbitrator cited applicable Missouri law throughout his order, and moreover, reasoned that even “[i]f the arbitrator mistakenly overlooked Missouri decisions that favored a contrary result, then he might have made an error of law in applying the contract, but such an error of law does not justify vacating the award.” As such, the Eighth Circuit affirmed. , Case No. 17-2862 (8th Cir. Aug. 8, 2018).