The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles P. Kocoras, District Judge:
This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Burbach Aquatics, Inc.'s ("Burbach") motion to vacate an arbitration award. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is denied.
Burbach is an architectural and engineering firm which specializes in designing aquatic facilities. On December 10, 1999, Burbach's predecessor in interest, Burbach Municipal, entered into a written contact ("Contract") with Huntley Illinois Park District ("Huntley"), to provide engineering services for the design and construction of a new municipal swimming pool and community center. Burbach performed under the Contract and invoiced Huntley for the services they performed and reimbursable expenses. Huntley paid Burbach for some, but not all of the invoices sent. The last payment Huntley made to Burbach was on June 7, 2004. The Contract contained a provision that called for disputes to be resolved in binding arbitration.
On January 26, 2012, Burbach sought the collection of the remaining unpaid invoiced amounts through arbitration. Burbach filed a Demand for Arbitration in accordance with the requirements of the Contract. In lieu of answering Burbach's Demand for Arbitration, Huntley filed a motion to dismiss the proceeding arguing it as time barred.
Prior to the hearing Burbach chose the Fast Track Arbitration Procedure of the Construction Industry Arbitration Rules ("Fast Track Arbitration") which provides for an expedited timetable to the hearing, a single hearing day, and an award in 14 days. On May 17, 2012, an arbitration hearing was held before an arbitrator. At the arbitration hearing, Burbach offered evidence and testimony concerning the claimed principal balance owed, the accrued interest on the principal and attorney's fees which it sought. Huntley did not offer any evidence, but did submit to the arbitrator case law pertaining to Wisconsin's six year statute of limitations, which Huntley argued barred Burbach's claims. After the close of evidence, both parties were allowed to give closing remarks. During closing remarks Burbach asserted that the ten year Illinois statute of limitations should apply.
The arbitrator issued his final award finding in favor of Huntley on May 30, 2012. On October 3, 2012, Burbach filed an Amended Motion to Vacate the Arbitration Award.
Under the Federal Arbitration Act, the grounds for overturning an arbitration award are "narrowly limited." IDS Life Ins. Co. v. Royal Alliance Associates, Inc., 266
F.3d 645, 649 (7th Cir. 2001). The sole basis for vacating an arbitration award are contained in 9 U.S.C. § 10(a). Affymax, Inc. v. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 660 F.3d 281, 284 (7th Cir 2011). That subsection allows a district court to vacate an arbitration award if: 1) the award was procured by corruption or fraud; 2) there was evident partiality in the arbitrator; 3) the arbitrator was guilty of misconduct in refusing to hear evidence pertinent to the controversy; 4) the arbitrator exceeded their power. 9 U.S.C. § 10(a). District courts are not to engage in a judicial review of arbitration awards. Wise v. Wachovia Securities, LLC, 450 F.3d 265, 269 (7th Cir. 2006). When parties agree to arbitrate their disputes they opt out of the court system, which consequently relegates their options to challenge an award. Id. "Factual or legal error, no matter how gross, is insufficient to support overturning an arbitration award." Halim v. Great Gatsby's Auction Gallery, Inc., 516 F.3d 557, 563 (7th Cir. 2008).
Accordingly, the Court recognizes that it must grant an arbitrator's decision great deference. See Wallace v. Buttar, 378 F.3d 182, 189 (2d Cir. 2004).
Burbach asserts that the arbitration award should be vacated pursuant to § 10(a)(2) because the arbitrator demonstrated an evident partiality when he refused to accept a memorandum submitted by Burbach and allowed Huntley to submit a case supporting their position. Burbach contends that the partiality of the arbitrator can also be evidenced in his refusal to give an explanation for his decision. Additionally, Burbach argues that the arbitration award should ...