Massachusetts Court Adopts The Firm’s Arguments to Deny An Emergency Motion to Enjoin Arbitration in New York

WMD demanded arbitration in New York on behalf of an insurance company in connection with a payment that the insurance company had made in a long-running insurance coverage dispute filed in Boston, Massachusetts, relating to asbestos claims from policies written in the 1980s. The arbitration demand concerned separate indemnification agreements that had been entered into contemporaneously with the policies, but were not involved in the insurance coverage issues being litigated in Massachusetts. However, one of the indemnity agreements could not be found. Seizing on the missing agreement, the defendant filed an emergency application in the Suffolk County, Massachusetts Superior Court to enjoin the arbitration. On a very tight deadline, WMD filed a brief arguing that (1) the Court lacked jurisdiction; (2) defendant’s participation in the arbitration did not cause irreparable harm; and (3) plaintiff would likely prevail on the merits because there were sufficient indicia of the written agreement from secondary sources that an agreement to arbitrate had been made. Within a few hours of WMD’s filing its brief, the Massachusetts Superior Court issued a written order denying the motion in its entirety “for the reasons stated in [WMD’s] opposition.”

Crosby Valve, LLC et al. V. OneBeacon America Ins. Co. et al., 1284CV02705-BLS2 (Mass. Superior Court, Sept. 22, 2023)