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Moses H. Cone Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercury Constr. Corp.

Supreme Court of the United States

November 2, 1982, Argued ; February 23, 1983, Decided

No. 81-1203


 [*4]   [***772]   [**930]  JUSTICE BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

 This case, commenced as a petition for an order to compel arbitration under § 4 of the United [****8]  States Arbitration Act of 1925 (Arbitration Act or Act), 9 U. S. C. § 4, presents the question whether, in light of the policies of the Act and of our decisions  [**931]  in Colorado River Water Conservation District v. United States, 424 U.S. 800 (1976), and Will v. Calvert Fire Insurance Co., 437 U.S. 655 (1978), the District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina properly stayed this diversity action pending resolution of a concurrent state-court suit. The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed the stay. 656 F.2d 933, rehearing denied, 664 F.2d 936 (1981). We granted certiorari. 455 U.S. 937 (1982). We affirm.

Petitioner Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital (Hospital) is located in Greensboro, N. C. Respondent Mercury  [***773]  Construction Corp. (Mercury), a construction contractor, has its principal place of business in Alabama. In July 1975, Mercury and the Hospital entered into a contract for the construction of additions to the Hospital building. The contract, drafted by representatives of the Hospital, included provisions for resolving disputes [****9]  arising out of the contract or its breach. All disputes involving interpretation of the contract or performance of the construction work were to be referred in the first instance to J. N. Pease Associates (Architect), an independent architectural firm hired by the Hospital to design and oversee the construction project. With certain  [*5]  stated exceptions, 1 any dispute decided by the Architect (or not decided by it within a stated time) could be submitted by either party to binding arbitration under a broad arbitration clause in the contract:

"All claims, disputes and other matters in question arising out of, or relating to, this Contract or the breach thereof, . . . shall be decided by arbitration in accordance with the Construction Industry Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association then obtaining unless the parties mutually agree otherwise. This agreement to arbitrate shall be specifically enforceable under the prevailing arbitration law. The award rendered by the arbitrators shall be final, and judgment may be entered upon it in accordance with applicable law in any court having jurisdiction thereof." App. 29-30.

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460 U.S. 1 *; 103 S. Ct. 927 **; 74 L. Ed. 2d 765 ***; 1983 U.S. LEXIS 17 ****; 51 U.S.L.W. 4156



Disposition:  656 F.2d 933, affirmed.


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