Arbitration award in hail damage repair dispute stands, 1st District Court of Appeals rules

By Karen Kidd | Jan 21, 2019

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HOUSTON – A state appeals court recently affirmed a Harris County court's confirmation of an arbitrator's award in a dispute over repair of hail damage.

In its nine-page opinion issued Jan 17, a 1st District Court of Appeals three-judge panel ruled that the appellant in the case, John Purse, waived three issues related to a lower court's confirmation of the arbitrator's award.

Purse had argued that the lower court erred in confirming the arbitrator's award because the arbitrator allegedly excluded critical evidence during the arbitration and that the known truth had not been presented during the hearing. Purse also claimed factual evidence was sufficient to support the reversal of the arbitrator's judgment.

The Appeals Court panel found Purse's brief had too many deficiencies to stand on its own and the court would not "argue his case for him," the opinion said.

Texas First District Court of Appeals Justice Julie Countiss

Justice Julie Countiss wrote the opinion in which Chief Justice Sherry Radack and Justices Gordon Goodman concurred.

The Appeals Court handed down its opinion in Purse's challenge to the Harris County 129th District Court's earlier order that granted John DeJesus' motion to confirm an arbitration award. Purse argued the trial court erred in confirming the arbitrator's award. The case involves the breach-of-contract claim DeJesus filed against Purse with the American Arbitration Association over hail damage roof repair, according to the background portion of the opinion.

Following an arbitration hearing in April 2017, the arbitrator awarded DeJesus almost $11,300 in damages and interest, attorney and administration fees. The award was in full settlement of all claims submitted to the arbitrator.

DeJesus filed a motion asking the District Court to affirm the arbitrator's award, which the District Court granted.

In affirming the trial court's decision, the Appeals Court also denied DeJesus' request for additional damages against Purse, claiming Purse's appeal have been frivolous.

"After a review of the record, briefing, and other papers filed in this court, we deny DeJesus’s request for damages," the opinion said.

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