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At a Glance:
Title:
Vargas v. Rigid Global Buildings, LLC
Date:
June 28, 2022
Citation:
14-20-00309-CV
Status:
Unreleased Opinion

Vargas v. Rigid Global Buildings, LLC

Court of Appeals of Texas, Houston (14th Dist.).

Antonio VARGAS, Appellant

v.

RIGID GLOBAL BUILDINGS, LLC, Appellee

NO. 14-20-00309-CV

|

Opinion filed June 28, 2022

On Appeal from the 127th District Court, Harris County, Texas, Trial Court Cause No. 2019-72919

Attorneys & Firms

James Erdle Jr., Christopher Chapaneri, Joseph David Zopolsky, David Wilson Dodge, Dallas, for Appellee.

Scott P. Armstrong, Joshua Lee, for Appellant.

Panel consists of Justices Jewell, Spain, and Wilson

OPINION

Randy Wilson, Justice

*1 A personal-injury claimant appeals the trial court’s confirmation of an arbitration award under the Federal Arbitration Act in favor of the claimant’s former employer, asserting that the trial court erred in denying the claimant’s petition to vacate the arbitration award. In the petition to vacate, the claimant asserted that the arbitrator exceeded his powers as well as various other alleged grounds for vacatur of the award. Concluding that the arbitrator did not exceed his powers and that the other complaints raised by claimant on appeal do not fit within any of the exclusive grounds available to challenge an arbitration award under the Federal Arbitration Act, we affirm.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Appellant Antonio Vargas was employed by appellee Rigid Global Buildings, LLC. As a condition of his employment with Rigid, Vargas signed an Arbitration Agreement and Notice of Arbitration Policy (“Arbitration Agreement”) on May 26, 2017.1 In the Arbitration Agreement, Vargas agreed that “All Claims related to [Vargas’s] employment with [Rigid] arising in any part after the Effective Date [of the Arbitration Agreement], save and except any benefit claims under [Rigid’s] Occupational Injury Benefit Plan and any claims made not arbitrable by governing statute or rule, will be resolved only through mandatory binding arbitration.” Rigid is a non-subscriber under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act.

“Claims” covered under the Arbitration Agreement “include, but are not limited to the following: (i) claims arising from any injury suffered by [Vargas] while in the Course and Scope of Employment with [Rigid], including but not limited to claims for negligence, gross negligence, and all claims for personal injuries ...; (ii) all claims relating to [Vargas’s] application with, employment with, or termination from [Rigid].” The term “Course and Scope of Employment” means an activity of any kind that has to do with the work, business, trade, or profession of [Rigid] and is performed by [Vargas] while engaged in or about the furtherance of the affairs or business of [Rigid], whether conducted on [Rigid’s] premises or elsewhere.”

Under the Arbitration Agreement, “[a]ny dispute as to whether a claim is arbitrable shall be resolved by the Arbitrator under this Arbitration Agreement.” Vargas agreed that Rigid is engaged in interstate commerce and that the Federal Arbitration Act (the “FAA”) governs all aspects of the Arbitration Agreement. In section 9 of the Arbitration Agreement Vargas also agreed to a one-year time limit for filing a claim for arbitration (the “Time Limit”):

*2 All parties must file a Claim for arbitration within one (1) year after the date of the incident or occurrence giving rise to the Claim.2 Failure to do so will result in the Claim being barred as at that one-year date. Should this time limitation become unenforceable because of applicable statute or case law, [Rigid and Vargas] agree the arbitrator may determine the appropriate limitations period in a pre-arbitration hearing[.]

The Arbitration Agreement provides that generally all parties may allege any claim, obtain any remedy, and assert any legal or equitable defense available in a Texas state or federal court and that all parties may file any motions permitted under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

Vargas alleges that on or about August 19, 2017, while he was working in the course and scope of his employment with Rigid, a beam fell off a group of stacked beams and came down on Vargas’s foot, causing severe injuries to Vargas’s right toe and foot. Vargas alleges that the negligence of Rigid’s agents, servants, and employees proximately caused his personal injuries. Vargas did not file a lawsuit asserting this negligence claim against Rigid. Vargas agrees that he had to arbitrate his negligence claim under the Arbitration Agreement and that the FAA governs this arbitration.

On February 21, 2019, more than 18 months after the date of the occurrence giving rise to Vargas’s negligence claim, Vargas initiated an arbitration proceeding under the Arbitration Agreement in which he asserted his claims against Rigid, including his negligence claim. Vargas does not dispute that he initiated the arbitration more than a year after the date of the occurrence giving rise to Vargas’s negligence claim.

After an arbitrator was appointed, Rigid filed an answer and then a motion for summary judgment in the arbitration, asserting that under the Time Limit Vargas’s negligence claim was barred because Vargas did not file his claim within one year after the date of the incident or occurrence giving rise to the claim. Vargas responded in opposition to Rigid’s summary-judgment motion, agreeing that the decision as to the applicable statute of limitations was for the arbitrator and arguing that the Time Limit is contrary to public policy, substantively unconscionable, unenforceable, and void under section 16.070 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Vargas also argued that the Arbitration Agreement is ambiguous as to whether Vargas must file his claims within one year after the date of the incident or occurrence giving rise to the claim or within two years after that date, under section 16.003 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

The Arbitrator granted Rigid’s motion for summary judgment, concluding as follows:

• The Arbitration Agreement requires that claims be asserted within one year.

• Vargas asserted his negligence claim against Rigid in the arbitration approximately 18 months after the accident on which his claim is based and more than one year after this accident.

• The Time Limit bars Vargas’s claims against Rigid.

• The Arbitration Agreement is not unconscionable; rather it is lawful and enforceable.

• Section 16.070 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code does not invalidate the Time Limit. Because Vargas’s claim against Rigid is not a breach-of-contract claim, section 16.070 does not apply.

*3 • Though Labor Code section 406.033 lists defenses not available to a non-subscribing employer under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, this statute does not invalidate the Time Limit.

• The Texas Legislature could have, but has not, enacted a statute precluding an employee from contractually reducing the statute of limitations for claims against the employee’s non-subscriber employer.

Vargas filed a motion for reconsideration of the arbitrator’s ruling. The arbitrator denied this motion. Vargas initiated this case in the trial court by filing a petition to vacate the arbitration award in favor of Rigid (the “Award”). In his petition to vacate the Award, Vargas also asserted a claim for breach of the Arbitration Agreement. Rigid filed an answer and moved to confirm the Award. Vargas amended his petition, and Rigid amended its motion. After an oral hearing, the trial court denied Vargas’s petition to vacate the Award and granted Rigid’s motion to confirm the Award. Vargas filed a notice of appeal, in which he stated that he was appealing the trial court’s final judgment.

On appeal, this court determined that the trial court’s judgment did not actually dispose of Vargas’s breach-of-contract claim and that the judgment was interlocutory. We abated this appeal to permit the trial court to take action to make its interlocutory judgment final. See Tex. R. App. P. 27.2, 27.3. During the abatement period the trial court signed a final and appealable judgment in which the court (1) denied in all respects Vargas’s petition to vacate the Award; (2) ordered that all of Vargas’s claims against Rigid be dismissed with prejudice; and (3) ordered that the Award be confirmed in all respects. This final judgment and all documents relating to it have been included in a supplemental clerk’s record in this appeal. We treat this appeal as from this final judgment, and we treat all actions relating to the appeal of the trial court’s initial interlocutory judgment as relating to the appeal of the final judgment. See Tex. R. App. P. 27.3.

II. ISSUES AND ANALYSIS

We review de novo a trial court’s decision to confirm or vacate an arbitration award. Valdes v. Whataburger Restaurants, LLC, No. 14-16-00222-CV, 2017 WL 2602728, at *2 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Jun. 15, 2017, no pet.) (mem. op.). Review of an arbitration award is “extraordinarily narrow” and “exceedingly deferential.” Id. Consistent with the deferential and narrow scope of review of an arbitration award, we indulge every reasonable presumption in favor of the Award and none against it. Id. We review Vargas’s challenge to the Award under a “heavy presumption” in favor of confirming the award. See id.

Under the FAA, an arbitration award must be confirmed unless it is vacated, modified, or corrected under specifically enumerated statutory grounds. See 9 U.S.C. §§ 9–11; Valdes, 2017 WL 2602728, at *2. Under the FAA, courts may vacate an arbitrator’s decision “only in very unusual circumstances.” Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter, 569 U.S. 564, 568, 133 S.Ct. 2064, 2068, 186 L.Ed. 2d 113 (2013). Significantly, the grounds on which a trial court may vacate an arbitration award under the FAA are limited to those expressly identified in section 10 of the FAA, to the exclusion of all other potential grounds. See Hall St. Assocs., L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc., 552 U.S. 576, 584, 128 S.Ct. 1396, 1403, 170 L.Ed.2d 254 (2008); Valdes, 2017 WL 2602728, at *2. Section 10(a) of the FAA provides that a trial court may vacate an arbitration award for any one of the following reasons:

*4 (1) where the award was procured by corruption, fraud, or undue means;

(2) where there was evident partiality or corruption in the arbitrators, or either of them;

(3) where the arbitrators were guilty of misconduct in refusing to postpone the hearing, upon sufficient cause shown, or in refusing to hear evidence pertinent and material to the controversy; or of any other misbehavior by which the rights of any party have been prejudiced; or

(4) where the arbitrators exceeded their powers, or so imperfectly executed them that a mutual, final, and definite award upon the subject matter submitted was not made.

9 U.S.C. § 10(a). Vargas initiated the arbitration, and there is no order on a motion to compel arbitration or other pre-arbitration motion or application for us to review in this appeal. See Ewing v. ACT Catastrophe-Texas, L.C., 375 S.W.3d 545, 549 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2012, pet. denied). Vargas did not request a modification or correction of the Award. Thus, the only issue for this court is whether the trial court erred in denying Vargas’s petition to vacate the Award. See 9 U.S.C. §§ 9–11; Valdes, 2017 WL 2602728, at *2. In seeking vacatur of the Award under the FAA, Vargas bears a heavy burden to prove one of the above statutorily enumerated grounds. See 9 U.S.C. § 10; Valdes, 2017 WL 2602728, at *3.

A. Did the arbitrator exceed his powers?

In part of his third issue, Vargas asserts that the trial court erred in denying his petition to vacate the Award on the ground that the arbitrator exceeded his powers. This ground for vacatur is listed in section 10 of the FAA and is a valid basis for vacating an award under the FAA. See 9 U.S.C. § 10; Valdes, 2017 WL 2602728, at *2–3. To show that the arbitrator exceeded his powers, it is not enough to show that the arbitrator committed an error, or even a grave error. Oxford Health Plans LLC, 569 U.S. at 572, 133 S.Ct. at 2070. Arbitrators exceed their power when they decide a matter not properly before them. Venture Cotton Co-op v. Neudorf, No. 14-13-00808-CV, 2014 WL 4557765, at *3 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Sep. 16, 2014, no pet.) (mem. op.). Arbitrators derive their authority from the arbitration agreement; therefore, the power and authority of an arbitrator depends on the provisions under which the arbitrator was appointed. See id. The authority of an arbitrator is limited to a decision of the matters submitted to arbitration either expressly or by necessary implication. Cameron Intern. Corp. v. Vetco Gray, Inc., No. 14-07-00656-CV, 2009 WL 838177, at *9 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Mar. 31, 2009, pet. denied) (mem. op.). Arbitrators do not exceed their powers if the arbitration award has a basis that is at least rationally inferable, if not obviously drawn, from the letter or purpose of the arbitration agreement. Id. In making this inquiry, the reviewing court is not limited to the arbitrators’ explanation for the award. Id. Rather, the reviewing court looks to the result reached and determines whether the award, however arrived at, is rationally inferable from the arbitration agreement. Id.

*5 The Arbitration Agreement defines “Claims” that are covered under the agreement to include claims arising from any injury suffered by Vargas while in the course and scope of his employment with Rigid and all claims relating to Vargas’s employment with Rigid. Though he disputes the enforceability of the Time Limit, Vargas agrees that he is bound to arbitrate his negligence claim against Rigid under the Arbitration Agreement. Vargas agreed to the Time Limit and agreed that Rigid could assert defenses like the Time Limit in the arbitration by means of a motion for summary judgment. Vargas also agreed that if the Time Limit became unenforceable because of an applicable statute or case law, the arbitrator could properly determine the appropriate limitations period in a pre-arbitration hearing. Furthermore, the parties agreed that “[a]ny dispute as to whether a claim is arbitrable shall be resolved by the Arbitrator under this Arbitration Agreement.” In this delegation provision, the parties agreed that the arbitrator rather than the courts would resolve any issue as to arbitrability. See Berry Y&V Fabricators, LLC v. Bambace, 604 S.W.3d 482, 486–87 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2020, no pet.); Kubala v. Supreme Prod. Servs., Inc., 830 F.3d 199, 202 (5th Cir. 2016). Vargas has not challenged the enforceability of the delegation provision. The arbitrator’s statements in the Arbitration Award show that he concluded that the issues as to whether the Time Limit is enforceable and unconscionable were subject to arbitration. The Agreement does not expressly provide that the arbitrator has the power to determine whether the Time Limit is unenforceable. Nonetheless, in context, it is rationally inferable from the Arbitration Agreement that the arbitrator has the power to apply the Time Limit and determine whether the Time Limit is enforceable. See Cameron Intern. Corp., 2009 WL 838177, at *9.

In response to Rigid’s summary-judgment motion in the arbitration asserting that the Time Limit barred Vargas’s negligence claim, Vargas made the following statements to the arbitrator:

“[Vargas] agrees that the proper tribunal for this case is in arbitration.”

“[Vargas] agrees that [the] decision regarding the applicable statute of limitations is for the arbitrator and that Texas jurisprudence supports this conclusion.”

“However, Vargas disputes that the one-year statute of limitations in the [Arbitration Agreement] is enforceable.”

Because the parties bargained for an arbitrator to apply the Time Limit and determine its enforceability, a decision by the arbitrator even arguably construing or applying the Time Limit is within the arbitrator’s powers, regardless of a court’s view of its merits or demerits. See Oxford Health Plans LLC, 569 U.S. at 569, 133 S.Ct. at 2068; Venture Cotton Co-op, 2014 WL 4557765, at *3. This court may not vacate the Arbitration Award under section 10(a)(4) of the FAA based on any alleged errors by the arbitrator in interpreting or applying the law. See Venture Cotton Co-op, 2014 WL 4557765, at *3.

On appeal, Vargas argues that the arbitrator exceeded his powers because the question of whether the Time Limit is substantively unconscionable is a question for the courts, not for the arbitrator. Under the plain text of the Arbitration Agreement, as discussed above, we conclude that this question is not for the courts and that the arbitrator did not exceed his powers by determining whether the Time Limit is substantively unconscionable. See Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer and White Sales, Inc., ––– U.S. ––––, ––––, 139 S.Ct. 524, 527–28, 202 L.Ed.2d 480 (2019); Howsam v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 537 U.S. 79, 85, 123 S.Ct. 588, 592–93, 154 L.Ed.2d 491 (2002); Kubala, 830 F.3d at 202; In re Global Const. Co., L.L.C., 166 S.W.3d 795, 798–99 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2005, orig. proceeding); Lujan v. Tex. Bell Jeb Apartments LLC, No. 03–13–00558–CV, 2015 WL 4072121, at *2 (Tex. App.–Austin June 30, 2015, pet. denied) (mem. op.).

Vargas cites three opinions from the Supreme Court of Texas involving motions to compel arbitration, but none of these opinions is on point because none involves the issue of vacatur of an arbitration award or a delegation provision. See G.T. Leach Builders, LLC v. Sapphire V.P., L.P., 458 S.W.3d 502, 510, 519–23 (Tex. 2015); In re Labatt Food Serv., L.P., 279 S.W.3d 640, 644, 647–49 (Tex. 2009); In re Poly-America, L.P., 262 S.W.3d 337, 344–60 (Tex. 2008).

Vargas also asserts that the arbitrator exceeded his powers because the Arbitration Award displayed a manifest disregard for the law. The legal standard for determining whether the arbitrator exceeded his powers does not involve an inquiry into whether the arbitrator displayed a manifest disregard for the law, and manifest disregard for the law is not a ground on which an arbitration award under the FAA may be vacated. See Oxford Health Plans LLC, 569 U.S. at 569–72, 133 S.Ct. at 2068–70; Casa Del Mar Assoc., Inc. v. Williams & Thomas, 476 S.W.3d 96, 99–100 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015, no pet.); Venture Cotton Co-op, 2014 WL 4557765, at *3. Thus, this argument lacks merit.

*6 Vargas also contends that the arbitrator exceeded his powers because his decision was based on the Time Limit, which is a void or illegal contract provision, or because the arbitrator disregarded certain provisions of the Arbitration Agreement. In these arguments, Vargas addresses the merits of some of his challenges to the Time Limit and effectively asserts that the arbitrator erred in enforcing the Time Limit. These contentions are not relevant to the issue of whether the arbitrator exceeded his powers. See Oxford Health Plans LLC, 569 U.S. at 569, 133 S.Ct. at 2068; Denbury Onshore, LLC v. Texcal Energy South Texas, 513 S.W.3d 511, 521–22 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016, no pet.).

Under the applicable standard of review, we conclude that the arbitrator did not exceed his powers and thus the trial court did not err in denying Vargas’s petition to vacate the Award on this ground. See Denbury Onshore, LLC, 513 S.W.3d at 520–22; Good Times Stores, Inc. v. Macias, 355 S.W.3d 240, 242–43, 245–46 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2011, pet. denied); In re Global Const. Co., L.L.C., 166 S.W.3d at 798–99; Lujan, 2015 WL 4072121, at *2. Therefore, we overrule the part of the third issue in which Vargas asserts that the trial court erred in denying his petition to vacate the Award on the ground that the arbitrator exceeded his powers.

B. Do Vargas’s other complaints fit within any of the exclusive grounds available to challenge an arbitration award under the Federal Arbitration Act?

In the remainder of the third issue, in the other two issues, and in Vargas’s arguments under these issues, Vargas asserts that the trial court erred in denying his petition to vacate the Award because:

• The Time Limit is illegal, void, and unenforceable.

• The Time Limit violates public policy for various reasons, including (1) the Time Limit violates the public policy expressed in Labor Code section 406.033; and (2) the Time Limit violates the public policy expressed in Civil Practice and Remedies Code section 16.003.

• The Time Limit is substantively unconscionable.

• The arbitrator displayed a manifest disregard of the law.

• The Time Limit is void and unenforceable because under Labor Code section 406.033, an agreement may not limit any right of an injured employee to bring a common law personal injury action against the employee’s nonsubscriber employer.

• The Time Limit prevents Vargas from effectively vindicating his statutory rights by depriving him of any venue to bring claims he is authorized by statute to assert.

Under binding precedent, including this court’s interpretation of the Hall Street Associates case from the Supreme Court of the United States, the grounds on which a trial court may vacate an arbitration award under the FAA are limited to those expressly identified in section 10 of the FAA, to the exclusion of all other potential grounds, and none of the above-listed complaints fits within any of these exclusive grounds. See Hall St. Assocs., L.L.C., 552 U.S. at 584, 128 S.Ct. at 1403 (stating that the Supreme Court held that section 10 of the FAA provides the exclusive grounds for vacatur); Valdes, 2017 WL 2602728, at *2–5 (holding that the grounds for which a trial court may vacate an arbitration award under the FAA are limited to those expressly identified in section 10 of the FAA, to the exclusion of all other potential grounds); Davis v. Bentz, No. 01-15-00230-CV, 2016 WL 3947433, at *3, *6 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] Jul. 19, 2016, pet. denied) (holding that FAA statutory grounds for vacatur are exclusive and that even if an arbitration award under the FAA violates fundamental Texas public policy, a court may not vacate the award on that basis because it is not one of the exclusive vacatur grounds) (mem. op.); LeFoumba v. Legend Classic Homes, Ltd., No. 14-08-00243-CV, 2009 WL 3109875, at *2 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Sep. 17, 2009, no pet.) (holding that FAA statutory grounds for vacatur are exclusive and that even if an arbitration award under the FAA violates public policy, a court may not vacate the award on that basis because it is not one of the exclusive vacatur grounds) (mem. op.); Casa Del Mar Assoc., Inc., 476 S.W.3d at 99–100 (holding that a court may not vacate an FAA award on the ground of “gross mistake” or of “manifest disregard of the law” because neither ground fits within any of the exclusive grounds listed in section 10 of the FAA); Parallel Networks, LLC v. Jenner & Block, LLP, No. 05-13-00748-CV, 2015 WL 5904685, at *5–6 (Tex. App.—Dallas Oct. 9, 2015, pet. denied) (holding that appellant’s complaints that the arbitrator relied on a provision that is unconscionable and against public policy and that the arbitrator committed legal error were not possible bases for vacating an FAA award because none of these complaints fits within any of the exclusive grounds listed in section 10 of the FAA) (mem. op.).

*7 Vargas contends that an FAA arbitration award’s violation of public policy is a ground on which a court may properly vacate the arbitration award. In support of this contention, Vargas cites two opinions from the Supreme Court of the United States in which the high court concluded that a court may vacate an award rendered in an arbitration pursuant to a collective-bargaining agreement (“Labor Arbitration Award”) if the court concludes that the award violates public policy. See United Paperworkers Int’l Union, AFL-CIO v. Misco, Inc., 484 U.S. 29, 42, 108 S.Ct. 364, 373, 98 L.Ed.2d 286 (1987); W.R. Grace & Co. v. Loc. Union 759, 461 U.S. 757, 766, 103 S.Ct. 2177, 2183, 76 L.Ed.2d 298 (1983). In proceedings regarding the enforcement of a Labor Arbitration Award, though courts sometimes look to the provisions of the FAA for guidance, the FAA does not govern the court’s decision whether to vacate or enforce the Labor Arbitration Award. See Misco, Inc., 484 U.S. at 40, n.9, 108 S.Ct. at 372, n.9; In re Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, 252 S.W.3d 480, 493 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2008, orig. proceeding). The Texas Arbitration Act does not apply to proceedings regarding the enforcement of a Labor Arbitration Award. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 171.002(a)(1) (West, Westlaw through 2021 C.S.); In re Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, 252 S.W.3d at 493, n.18. Thus, although common-law vacatur grounds do not apply to arbitration awards under the FAA, common law vacatur grounds apply to a Labor Arbitration Award. See Misco, Inc., 484 U.S. at 40, n.9, 42, 108 S.Ct. at 372, n.9, 373; In re Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, 252 S.W.3d at 493, n.18; Valdes, 2017 WL 2602728, at *2–5; Davis, 2016 WL 3947433, at *3, *6. In neither Misco nor W.R. Grace did the high court conclude that a public-policy vacatur ground exists under the FAA. See Misco, 4 U.S. at 36–45, 108 S.Ct. at 370–74; W.R. Grace & Co., 461 U.S. at 763–72, 103 S.Ct. at 2182–86. Neither case was decided under the FAA, and neither case is on point.

Vargas also cites the Supreme Court of Texas’s opinion in CVN Group, Inc. v. Delgado. See 95 S.W.3d 234 (Tex. 2002). In that case, the high court concluded that the common law allows vacatur of an arbitration award in the “extraordinary case in which the award clearly violates carefully articulated, fundamental [public] policy.” Id. at 239; see Jefferson County v. Jefferson County Constables Ass’n, 546 S.W.3d 661, 665 (Tex. 2018). Though a narrow public-policy vacatur ground exists as to an arbitration award reviewed under the common law, we review the Award under the FAA, not under the common law. In CVN Group, Inc. the court did not conclude that a public-policy vacatur ground exists under the FAA. See Jefferson County, 546 S.W.3d at 665; CVN Group, Inc., 95 S.W.3d at 238–39. The CVN Group case is not on point. In the LeFoumba case, this court held that the vacatur grounds listed in section 10 of the FAA are exclusive and that no public-policy vacatur ground is viable under the FAA. See LeFoumba, 2009 WL 3109875, at *2. Under this binding precedent, Vargas may not obtain vacatur of the Award based on any public policy ground. See id.

Other than his complaint that the arbitrator exceeded his powers, none of Vargas’s appellate complaints fits within any of the exclusive vacatur grounds listed in section 10 the FAA. Therefore, we do not address the merits of any of these other complaints, and we conclude that the trial court did not err in denying the Award based on any of these complaints. See Hall St. Assocs., L.L.C., 552 U.S. at 584, 128 S.Ct. at 1403; Valdes, 2017 WL 2602728, at *2–5; Davis, 2016 WL 3947433, at *3, *6; LeFoumba, 2009 WL 3109875, at *2; Casa Del Mar Assoc., Inc., 476 S.W.3d at 99–100; Parallel Networks, LLC, 2015 WL 5904685, at *5–6. Thus, we overrule the remainder of the third issue and the first and second issues.

III. CONCLUSION

Under the applicable standard of review, we conclude that the arbitrator did not exceed his powers and that the trial court did not err in denying Vargas’s petition to vacate the Award on this ground. Other than his complaint that the arbitrator exceeded his powers, none of Vargas’s appellate complaints fits within any of the exclusive vacatur grounds listed in section 10 the FAA. Therefore the trial court did not err in denying Vargas’s petition to vacate the Award based on any of these complaints. Because Vargas has not shown that the trial court erred in denying his petition to vacate the award or in granting Rigid’s motion to confirm the Award, we affirm the trial court’s final judgment.

(Spain, J., concurring without opinion).

Footnotes

1

The signed Arbitration Agreement is in Spanish, Vargas’s first language, but in this opinion we quote the title and text of the document from the English version of the document contained in the clerk’s record. Both Vargas and Rigid submitted the English version of the Arbitration Agreement to the trial court, along with the Arbitration Agreement in Spanish, and no party has asserted that the English version is not an accurate translation of the document Vargas signed.

2

Emphasis in the original

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