Judge rejects company's challenge to arbitrator accused of having hearing problems, dozing off


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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A judge says a company wasn't deprived of a fair hearing in an Iowa construction dispute by an arbitrator accused of having hearing problems and falling asleep.

U.S. District Judge Linda Reade last week rejected a challenge by Dustex Corp. to an arbitration award in favor of the municipal utility in Cedar Falls.

Kennesaw, Georgia-based Dustex argued that it was prejudiced by the poor hearing and occasional napping of arbitrator Marshall Young.

Young chaired a three-member panel that heard a dispute over upgrades that the utility made to a power plant. The utility contracted with Miron Construction, and Miron hired Dustex to supply a piece of emission-reducing equipment called a baghouse. The utility claimed the baghouse didn't work.

The panel ordered the companies and an insurer to pay $3.4 million.

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