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Contract Law Appellate Court Opinion

by Oumano, Emily


AC45127 - Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park LLC v. Borodkin (“The plaintiff, Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park, LLC (Brownstone), appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying its application to compel arbitration of a dispute involving the defendant, Diane Borodkin, who previously had filed an action against Brownstone for personal injuries (personal injury action) that she allegedly sustained when she slipped and fell on an unmarked tree root while walking on a path just past the entrance to a park owned and operated by Brownstone. Brownstone filed its application pursuant to General Statutes § 52-410 seeking to compel arbitration of the dispute in accordance with an agreement that Borodkin signed when she entered the park, which was titled ‘‘Release and Waiver of Claims Arising From Inherent Risks, Indemnity and Arbitration Agreement’’ (agreement). The trial court found the language of the arbitration provision in the agreement to be ambiguous and, as a result, concluded that the issue of arbitrability was a matter for the court to decide. The court further determined that the claim was not arbitrable because it did not fall within the scope of the agreement. Finally, the court concluded, sua sponte, that Brownstone’s application also must be denied on procedural grounds.

On appeal, Brownstone claims that (1) the court erred by concluding that the issue of arbitrability was a matter for the court, not the arbitrators, to decide, and (2) the court erred in denying its application to compel arbitration on procedural grounds. We agree with both of these claims and, thus, reverse the judgment of the court.”)