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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:When they purchased their home, Joel and Martha Dean bought an extended warranty issued by Warranty Underwriters Insurance Co. and administered by Home Owners Management Enterprises Inc., doing business as HOME of Texas. On July 19, 2004, the Deans filed their original petition against WUIC and HOME for negligence. WUIC and HOME filed a plea in abatement, stating the warranty contract on which the suit was based obligated the Deans to refer all disputes to binding arbitration. In April 2005, the trial judge granted the plea in abatement, appointed an arbitrator and ordered the parties to arbitration. The case proceeded to arbitration. On Jan. 17, 2006, the arbitrator issued an award in favor of the Deans, who then filed a motion to confirm the arbitrator’s award. In response, WUIC and HOME filed a motion to vacate the arbitration award. Following the arbitrator’s March 1, 2006, clarification of the arbitration award, the trial judge denied WUIC’s and HOME’s motion to vacate and entered final judgment confirming the arbitration award. After WUIC and HOME’s motion for new trial was denied, they appealed. In five issues, WUIC and HOME claimed that the arbitrator manifestly disregarded Texas law in awarding five elements of damages. They argued the arbitrator “consciously disregarded arguments that the record shows were specifically brought to her attention in the arbitration and arbitration briefing” and ignored Texas law in making the award. HOLDING:Affirmed. A trial court may set aside an arbitration award only in limited circumstances, the court stated. Absent specific common law or statutory grounds for vacating, modifying or correcting an award, the reviewing court must confirm the award. Texas Property Code �438.001 provides that “on application of a party, a court shall vacate an award in a residential construction arbitration upon a showing of manifest disregard for Texas law.” Manifest disregard of the law, the court stated, is more than a “mere error or misunderstanding with respect to the law.” The party seeking to vacate an arbitration award bears the burden of demonstrating the arbitrator acted in manifest disregard of the law and has the burden of bringing forth a complete record of the arbitration proceeding to support its claims. The court noted that at the March 2006 hearing on the motion to confirm arbitrator’s award, WUIC and HOME did not introduce a record of the December 2005 arbitration hearing or of the February 2006 hearing on their motion to modify the award. Nevertheless, WUIC and HOME challenged the arbitrator’s award of alternative living expenses and the loss of market value on the grounds that it violated or manifestly disregarded the law. Following the hearing and arguments of counsel, the trial judge confirmed the arbitrator’s award. Likewise, on appeal, WUIC and HOME did not offer a record of the December 2005 arbitration hearing or of the February 2006 hearing before the arbitrator on the motion to modify the award. Thus, the court lacked a record of the evidence or law presented to the arbitrator. Without a record establishing what was presented to the arbitrator, the court stated that it could not conclude that the arbitrator’s award manifestly disregarded the law. OPINION:Whittington, J.; Whittington, Bridges and Lang, JJ.

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