New World Expedition Yachts LLC v. P.R. Yacht Builders

In Admiralty Practice, Stays of Proceedings on (Updated )

In this action the plaintiff alleged that the defendant shipbuilders had engaged in a fraudulent scheme in relation to a ship building contract. The vessel was being built under a contract between the plaintiff/purchaser, NWEY, and the defendant/builder, PRYB. PRYB sub-contracted
the labour part of the build to a related company, FCY, also a defendant. Disputes arose during the course of the construction which were referred to arbitration and decided against the plaintiff in two arbitrations. The plaintiff first sought unsuccessfully to set aside the award on
the basis of bias of the arbitrator. When that was unsuccessful, the plaintiff brought this action for damages alleging fraud. The defendants moved to stay the action on the basis of the arbitration clause in the building contract and on the grounds that the issues were res judicata having already been decided in the arbitrations. The Court agreed with the defendants on both counts holding that the plaintiff was seeking to re-litigate matters that were or could have been decided in the arbitrations.