Court of Appeals Rules Surety Cannot Join Arbitration without Consent

Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter

In this Ohio turnpike construction dispute the contractor's surety sought to join the arbitration between the contractor and subcontractor, despite not being a direct party to the subcontract that required arbitration of all disputes. Both the subcontractor and contractor objected.

The surety recognized that it would be bound by any arbitration award, and claimed that it should be able to enter the arbitration proceedings to protect its interests.

The Court of Appeals for the Seventh District ruled that there was no statutory or common law basis for a nonparty to a contract, like the surety, to compel its participation in the arbitration. J.J. Connor Co., Inc. v. Reginella Constr. Co., Ltd., 2014-Ohio-3873.