United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
Saylor IV United States District Judge
an action to compel arbitration and appoint an arbitrator.
Jurisdiction is based on diversity of citizenship. In 2015,
Green Valley Trading Company filed a complaint against Olam
Americas, Inc., seeking $83, 180.40 allegedly due under a
contract to purchase coffee. In 2017, the parties agreed to
an arbitration agreement and dismissed that lawsuit.
present complaint arises under that arbitration agreement.
The agreement included a clause providing a method for the
selection of an arbitrator, but the parties have been unable
to agree on a candidate. Green Valley filed this complaint
asking the court to appoint an arbitrator and compel
arbitration pursuant to the agreement and Mass. Gen. Laws ch.
251 §§ 2 and 3. Olam has moved to dismiss the
action for failure to state a claim.
reasons set forth below, the motion to dismiss will be
follow facts are presented as alleged in the complaint unless
2014, Green Valley Trading Company and Olam Americas, Inc.,
entered into a purchase contract for Bolivian Fair Trade
Organic Coffee. According to Green Valley, and pursuant to
the terms of the contract, it shipped and delivered coffee to
Olam, which accepted the delivery.
15, 2015, Olam paid Green Valley $36, 496.31. According to
Green Valley, however, it was owed $119, 676.71 under the
contract. It made repeated demands for the remaining $83,
November 12, 2015, Green Valley filed an action against Olam
in the Massachusetts Superior Court for Essex County. The
complaint alleged breach of contract, breach of the implied
covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and a violation of
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A.
December 28, 2015, Olam removed that case to this court. The
case was then litigated for more than a year.
2017, the parties entered into an agreement to resolve the
matter through arbitration. The parties stipulated to a
dismissal of the lawsuit pursuant to Rule 41(a)(2).
arbitration agreement is two pages long. Paragraph 3 of the
agreement addresses the selection of the arbitrator. It
states: “Within twenty (20) days of the date of the
latest signature hereof, Green Valley and Olam will select a
mutually agreeable single arbitrator with experience in
commodity futures ...