September 24, 2007

Failure to immediately appeal when the court ignores a contractual arbitration provision results in loss of enforceability

DANIEL E. LONG v. ANDREA ELISE MILLER, ET AL. (Tenn.Ct.App. September 21, 2007).

This is a breach of contract action filed by Daniel E. Long against R & M Builders, Inc. ("R & M"), the successful bidder on a governmental project to demolish and rebuild the plaintiff's house. The plaintiff claims that R & M performed its services in an unworkmanlike manner and that the company failed to complete several of the contractual requirements. R & M filed a motion to dismiss asserting that the parties had agreed to binding arbitration. The trial court denied the motion and the case proceeded to trial. The jury found that R & M had breached the contract and awarded the plaintiff damages of $15,000. R & M appeals, claiming the trial court erred when it refused to order the parties to arbitration. It also asserts that the trial court erred in excluding certain evidence. The plaintiff argues that this appeal is frivolous. We affirm the judgment of the trial court and conclude that R & M's appeal is frivolous. We remand this case to the trial court with instructions.

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