Garstka v. Russo

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
Writing for the CourtHALLOWS
Citation37 Wis.2d 146,154 N.W.2d 286
Decision Date28 November 1967
PartiesClement GARSTKA, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Vincent RUSSO and Sandra Russo, Defendant-Appellants.

Page 286

154 N.W.2d 286
37 Wis.2d 146
Clement GARSTKA, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
Vincent RUSSO and Sandra Russo, Defendant-Appellants.
Supreme Court of Wisconsin.
Nov. 28, 1967.

Douglas & Omernik, Dennis C. Bailey, Spooner, for appellants.

Daniel B. Merriam, Ladysmith, for respondent.

HALLOWS, Justice.

Two issues are presented on this appeal: (1) Whether the award of the arbitrators was valid and binding upon the parties, and (2) whether the evidence supports the findings of the trial court.

The Arbitration Award

Although both the items of labor and materials were submitted to the arbitrators, their work was incomplete in that they dealt only with the extent and value of services performed. The defendants argue the award of $1,500 for services is binding notwithstanding the fact the arbitrators failed to act on the second matter submitted to them. The defendants rely on Donaldson v. Buhlman (1908), 134 Wis. 117, 113 N.W. 638, 114 N.W. 431, for the proposition that where questions which are not dependent upon each other and are severable in their nature are submitted to arbitration, the fact the award upon one question is bad does not necessarily invalidate the award on the other questions unless the same vice affects them all or unless the void part is a consideration for the other parts. While some basis for this argument may also be found in 5 Am.Jur.2d, Arbitration and Award, p. 631, sec. 150, we think the argument is inapplicable to the facts of this case.

Here, the arbitrators made only a partial arbitration and failed to perform the duty placed upon them by the [37 Wis.2d 150] submission which required them to determine the value of the materials furnished as well as the value of the labor. When a matter is submitted to arbitrators and a final and definite award covering all the subject matter submitted is not made, the arbitration has failed to serve its purpose and should not be accepted. Canfield v. Watertown Fire Ins. Co. (1882), 55 Wis. 419, 13 N.W. 252; Stubbings v. McGregor (1893), 86 Wis. 248, 56 N.W. 641. It is essential to the validity of the award in the absence of a saving statute that the award be complete, final and terminate the question under arbitration so as to be subject to complete enforcement by a judgment or a decree. 6 Williston, Contracts, pp. 5397--5398, sec. 1929; 6 C.J.S. Arbitration and Award §§ 81, 89, pp. 226, 235. In the instant case the award served no useful purpose and did not avoid a lawsuit...

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12 practice notes
  • Smith v. RI ST. SERV. FOR BLIND & VIS. HANDICAPPED, Civ. A. No. 83-0292 S.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Rhode Island
    • 2 Marzo 1984
    ...Mutual Insurance Co., 119 R.I. 801, 806, 383 A.2d 597, 600 (1978) (applying the Rhode Island Arbitration Act); Garstka v. Russo, 37 Wis.2d 146, 149-50, 154 N.W.2d 286, 287-88 (1967) (applying Wisconsin common law of 10 In the ordinary case, arbitration is a freely chosen alternative to avoi......
  • McNally v. Capital Cartage, Inc., No. 2015AP2627
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • 10 Mayo 2018
    ...On the first point, our analysis begins with the long-recognized premise that Hermanson's labor has monetary value. See Garstka v. Russo, 37 Wis. 2d 146, 151, 154 N.W.2d 286 (1967) (referring to the "value" of labor); Hoernig v. Hoernig, 109 Wis. 229, 231, 85 N.W. 346 (1901) (explaining tha......
  • Loren Imhoff Homebuilder, Inc. v. Taylor, Appeal No. 2019AP2205
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • 31 Marzo 2022
    ..."failed to perform the duty placed upon" him to avoid entirely missing significant pieces of material evidence. See Garstka v. Russo , 37 Wis. 2d 146, 149-50, 154 N.W.2d 286 (1967) (the arbitrators "failed to perform the duty placed upon them by the submission" for arbitration).BACKGROUND¶5......
  • Loren Imhoff Homebuilder, Inc. v. Taylor, 2019AP2205
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • 31 Marzo 2022
    ..."failed to perform the duty placed upon" him to avoid entirely missing significant pieces of material evidence. See Garstka v. Russo, 37 Wis.2d 146, 149-50, 154 N.W.2d 286 (1967) (the arbitrators "failed to perform the duty placed upon them by the submission" for arbitration). BACKGROUND ¶5......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Smith v. RI ST. SERV. FOR BLIND & VIS. HANDICAPPED, Civ. A. No. 83-0292 S.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Rhode Island
    • 2 Marzo 1984
    ...Mutual Insurance Co., 119 R.I. 801, 806, 383 A.2d 597, 600 (1978) (applying the Rhode Island Arbitration Act); Garstka v. Russo, 37 Wis.2d 146, 149-50, 154 N.W.2d 286, 287-88 (1967) (applying Wisconsin common law of 10 In the ordinary case, arbitration is a freely chosen alternative to avoi......
  • McNally v. Capital Cartage, Inc., No. 2015AP2627
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • 10 Mayo 2018
    ...On the first point, our analysis begins with the long-recognized premise that Hermanson's labor has monetary value. See Garstka v. Russo, 37 Wis. 2d 146, 151, 154 N.W.2d 286 (1967) (referring to the "value" of labor); Hoernig v. Hoernig, 109 Wis. 229, 231, 85 N.W. 346 (1901) (explaining tha......
  • Loren Imhoff Homebuilder, Inc. v. Taylor, Appeal No. 2019AP2205
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • 31 Marzo 2022
    ..."failed to perform the duty placed upon" him to avoid entirely missing significant pieces of material evidence. See Garstka v. Russo , 37 Wis. 2d 146, 149-50, 154 N.W.2d 286 (1967) (the arbitrators "failed to perform the duty placed upon them by the submission" for arbitration).BACKGROUND¶5......
  • Loren Imhoff Homebuilder, Inc. v. Taylor, 2019AP2205
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
    • 31 Marzo 2022
    ..."failed to perform the duty placed upon" him to avoid entirely missing significant pieces of material evidence. See Garstka v. Russo, 37 Wis.2d 146, 149-50, 154 N.W.2d 286 (1967) (the arbitrators "failed to perform the duty placed upon them by the submission" for arbitration). BACKGROUND ¶5......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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