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Trailer Manufacturer Accuses Arbitrator of Bias & Loses Appeal

Last week, a Texas appeals court ruled in favor of Joseph Julian, an Arnold & Itkin client for whom we got a $1 million award in arbitration with Load Trail LLC, a trailer manufacturer. Load Trail hired Julian in May 2017. Two months later, he was struck in the back by a metal wall that fell from a forklift. His injuries rendered him unable to do manual labor, so he sued Load Trail for negligence.

Per his employer agreement, his case was sent to arbitration, where an arbitrator T. King Fifer ruled in favor of Julian. Nearly two years after his injury, Julian received an award of $930,000. A few months later, Load Trail filed an appeal, arguing that the arbitrator showed bias in the plaintiff's favor.

Their evidence for bias included:

  • Issuing a warning when the company objected after a witness answered a question
  • 'Pressuring' the company to settle with Julian
  • Overruling some objections

Jason Itkin, Cory Itkin, and Ryan Macleod of Arnold & Itkin, alongside Jeffrey Levinger of Levinger PC, argued Load Trail waived their right to object to any alleged bias by not bringing it up during arbitration. If there was reason to suspect bias during arbitration, Load Trail's chance to bring it up would have been then—not four months later. The Sixth Court of Appeals agreed and ruled in Julian's favor, affirming his $1 million award.

Our firm is pleased the Sixth Court of Appeals ruled in favor of our client. We anticipate this is the end of Load Trail's case against our client. Now, he can finally go back to normal life with the compensation he deserves.

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