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Stoner v. Salon Lofts, LLC

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

December 26, 2019

Sean A. Stoner, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Salon Lofts, LLC, et al., Defendants- Appellants.

          APPEALS from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Nos. 10CV-13904, 15CV-2946

         On brief:

          Cooper & Elliott, LLC, Adam P. Richards, and Barton R. Keyes, for appellee.

          Littler Mendelson, P.C., Thomas M. L. Metzger, and Brooke E. Niedecken, for appellants.

         Argued:

          Adam P. Richards.

          Thomas M. L. Metzger.

          DECISION

          LUPER SCHUSTER, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendants-appellants, Salon Lofts, LLC and Daniel Sadd, appeal from a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas denying their motion to vacate, modify, or correct the arbitration award entered in favor of plaintiff-appellee, Sean A. Stoner. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         {¶ 2} On April 7, 2015, Stoner filed a petition to compel arbitration regarding a dispute on Stoner's claimed ownership interest in Salon Lofts. Prior to Stoner's petition to compel arbitration, the parties had been involved in litigation dating back to 2010 when Stoner and Buckheel Investments, LLC filed a complaint against appellants and Salon Lofts Franchising, LLC seeking a declaratory judgment that Stoner owned a profit interest in Salon Lofts based on Salon Lofts' Operating Agreement. Appellants and Salon Lofts Franchising filed several counterclaims in response to the initial 2010 complaint. The 2015 petition to compel arbitration related solely to Stoner's claim that he held a five-percent interest in Salon Lofts under the terms of the Operating Agreement; the remainder of appellants' counterclaims remain pending in the trial court.

         {¶ 3} The matter proceeded to arbitration on December 18, 2017. Following the arbitration hearing, the arbitrators issued an April 24, 2018 decision and award determining Stoner, a former employee of Salon Lofts, held a five-percent interest in Salon Lofts and that Stoner was entitled to payment for his five-percent interest upon the sale of Salon Lofts pursuant to an Asset Purchase Agreement dated February 15, 2012. Based on that conclusion, the arbitrators awarded Stoner $709, 557.00 in damages, plus statutory interest dating from February 15, 2012 until payment of the award. Subsequently, on August 8, 2018, the arbitrators issued a supplemental decision on Stoner's petition for attorneys' fees and arbitration-related costs, awarding Stoner $159, 554.58 in arbitration related fees and costs.

         {¶ 4} Appellants then moved to vacate, modify, or correct both the award and supplemental award, arguing the arbitrators exceeded their authority in calculating the dollar amount of Stoner's award. Stoner moved the trial court to confirm both the award and supplemental award.

         {¶ 5} In a March 7, 2019 decision and entry, the trial court granted Stoner's first amended application to confirm the arbitration award and denied appellants' motion to vacate, modify, or correct the arbitration award and motion to vacate or modify the arbitrators' supplemental decision on attorneys' fees and arbitration costs. In its decision, the trial court concluded the arbitrators did not exceed their authority in determining whether Stoner had an interest in Salon Lofts and the dollar amount Stoner should be paid for that interest. Subsequently, on March 25, 2019, the trial court issued a "Final Judgment" in favor of Stoner, ordering appellants to pay Stoner a total award of $869, 111.58 plus interest and attorneys' fees. Appellants timely appeal.

         II. Assignments of Error

         {¶ 6} Appellants assign the following ...


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