A Texas appellate court on Thursday upheld the confirmation of a $ 930,000 arbitration award against a trailer manufacturer who sued for negligence following a 2017 work injury despite the employer's argument that the arbitrator "showed clear bias."
 Joseph Julian, then working for Load Trail LLC, lifted a toolbox when he was struck by what he thought was a forklift. Mr. Julian was diagnosed with herniated discs and underwent lumbar spine surgery. He also suffered from neck pain after the accident and testified that he could no longer play with his children and that, despite trying to resume work on two separate occasions, he could not physically perform manual work, according to documents Load Trail, LLC , v. Joseph Julian, filed with the Texas Court of Appeals, Sixth District, in Texarkana, Texas.
Because Texas is a state that does not require employers to pay workers compensation, Julian is later compensated for negligence. According to an employment difference agreement with Load Trail, it is stated in the documents about the case when it went to arbitration. Julian was awarded damages after an arbitrator found that Load Trail was negligent in failing to provide a safe workplace, according to documents. Julian then filed a motion to confirm the arbitration in the trial court, while Load Trail moved to leave the award. The trial court confirmed.
Load Trail then appealed, complaining "that the arbitrator's decisions and conduct during the arbitration proceedings showed clear bias that amounted to real bias and that bias was further reflected in the arbitrator's conclusions and final award," the documents state.
"Load Trail has cut the post and has recited perhaps every instance during the three-day hearing where the arbitrator disregarded all the objections they raised. Load Trail claims that the overall circumstances would force a reasonable person to conclude that the arbitrator was partial to Julian, the documents say.
The Board of Appeal upheld the award, stating in part that Load Trail "did not meet the onerous burden of establishing" specific facts from which a reasonable person would have to conclude that the arbitrator was partial to a party ", as required by case law.
" Allegations of perceived actual bias during the proceedings aside, Load Trail would have this court lead the final award based on alleged inaccuracies in the facts and decisions of the arbitrators, claiming that these alleged inaccuracies indicate bias. This court is not permitted to "conduct a review. of the decision of an arbitration in substance ", is determined in the decision.