District Judge Jed S. Rakoff


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Mutual association Am. Steamship’s (AS) insured “members” are also insurers. Its board of directors denied an appeal from a partial denial of insurance coverage to TransAtlantic Lines for certain losses arising from a shipping accident. Granting AS summary judgment upholding its alternative dispute resolution (ADR) decision against TransAtlantic, the court denied TransAtlantic’s challenges to that decision, seeking de novo review of its claims that the ADR decision violated public policy and New York State law, and that AS itself was conflicted with respect to claims against TransAtlantic over losses to U.S. Government cargo. Noting that AS’s hearings had the hallmarks of a voluntary ADR proceeding entitled to deferential review, the court determined, among other things, that TransAtlantic’s argument that the ADR decision violated public policy failed to satisfy the two-pronged test in In re. United Fed’n of Teachers, Local 2 v. Bd. of Educ. of City School Dist. of the City of N.Y. Noting TransAtlantic’s failure to demonstrate impermissible bias, and noting that its other bases therefore were purely speculative, the court denied TransAtlantic discovery into the hearing by AS’s board.