Nativ Winiarsky and Abner Zelman recently obtained an award wholly in favor of the client in an AAA arbitration specifically enforcing the performance of an agreement between two members of a limited liability company, the sole asset of which was a valuable rental property in fashionable Williamsburg Brooklyn. KMWB represented the surviving member and commenced the arbitration after the decedent’s estate refused to honor the agreement. After a full evidentiary hearing the arbitrator rejected all of the estate’s defenses and ruled in favor of the surviving member on all disputed issues, holding that the terms of the agreement were sufficiently definite for the agreement to be valid, binding and enforceable; the terms of the agreement did not require an amendment to the operating agreement and that the rent roll used to establish the purchase price was not undervalued. The arbitrator’s decision further credited the proceeds of the decedent member’s life insurance policy against the purchase price required to be paid by the surviving member, even though said proceeds were not actually available because the decedent member had terminated her policy prior to her death, in breach of the agreement. The enforcement of the agreement pursuant to the arbitrator’s award will saved KMWB’s client close to $2 million from what the cost of the decedent’s interest would otherwise have been.
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