STORY FROM: Reinsurance & Arbitration

Appointment of Arbitrator Did Not Nullify $26.4M Award

CHICAGO - An arbitration award was not nullified by the appointment of a replacement arbitrator after the voluntary withdrawal of the previous arbitrator, an Illinois federal judge ruled on April 24. WellPoint Health Networks Inc., et al. v. John Hancock Life Insurance Co., No. 07 C 943 (N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).

Judge Ruben Castillo of the Northern District of Illinois ruled that appointment of the replacement arbitrator did not breach the parties' arbitration agreement; therefore the panel had authority to issue the awards. The awards directed Wellpoint Health Networks Inc. to pay $26.4 million to John Hancock Life Insurance Co. ...

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