Oakley Fertilizer Inc. v. Hagrpota for Trading & Dist. Ltd.
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Alternative Dispute Resolution
District Judge Paul Crotty
Oakley claimed Hagrpota owed $16.9 million on contracts between 2007 and 2009 to buy and sell fertilizer. Another judge compelled arbitration. Hagrpota has not paid the $12.2 million arbitral award to Oakley. Under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and the federal Arbitration Act, Oakley sued for confirmation. In confirming the award the court rejected Hagrpota's argument that Convention Article V(1)(c) applied, as well as its three challenges to the law of the case doctrine. Hagrpota attempted to litigate the same issue previously adjudicated, against the same party and relating to the same arbitration. Further, noting the parties' relationship and the record evidence the court found the prior judge's decision that the parties agreed to arbitrate their dispute was not clearly erroneous. Thirdly, finding that Maritime de Ecologia S.A. de C.V. v. Sealion Shipping Ltd. did not constitute an intervening change of controlling law, the court determined that the parties' agreement to arbitrate was repeatedly confirmed in writing by Hagrpota and Oakley, and specified that it applied to "any claim arising out of or related to the transaction[s] memorialized" including their instant dispute.