UniFirst Corp. v. Junior’s Pizza, Inc.

Defendant Junior's Pizza, Inc. appealed a superior court decision that confirmed an arbitration award and awarded attorney's fees to Plaintiff UniFirst Corporation. The Superior Court held that Junior's waived its right to object to arbitration by failing to challenge the award within thirty days of receiving notice. In June 2009, pursuant to the arbitration clause in the parties' contracts, UniFirst filed a demand for final and binding arbitration. Junior's declined to submit to arbitration, stating that it would reconsider if UniFirst produced a valid agreement. UniFirst subsequently provided copies of the contract provision to both Junior's and the arbitrator. In July 2009, the arbitrator notified the parties that UniFirst had met all filing requirements and arbitration would proceed absent a court order staying the matter. Junior's never sought a court order staying arbitration. UniFirst did not seek a court order compelling Junior's to participate. Notice of the arbitration hearing was provided to both parties, and the hearing took place. Junior's did not participate. UniFirst was awarded damages and attorney's fees, and Junior's was ordered to reimburse UniFirst in administrative fees associated with conducting the arbitration. The next day, the arbitrator notified Junior's of the award by email and certified mail. On appeal to the Supreme Court, Junior's argued (1) it did not waive its right to object to the arbitration award, (2) UniFirst was required to petition to compel arbitration prior to engaging in arbitration without Junior’s participation, and (3) the arbitration was not conducted in strict accordance with the terms of the contracts. Finding no error, the Supreme Court affirmed the arbitration award. View "UniFirst Corp. v. Junior's Pizza, Inc." on Justia Law