GE Energy Power Conversion France SAS v. Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC

ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA, LLC, entered into three contracts with F. L. Industries, Inc., for the construction of cold rolling mills at ThyssenKrupp’s steel manufacturing plant in Alabama. Each contract contained a clause requiring arbitration of any contract dispute. F. L. Industries then entered into a subcontractor agreement with petitioner (GE Energy) for the provision of nine motors to power the cold rolling mills. After the motors for the cold rolling mills allegedly failed, Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC (which acquired ownership of the plant), and its insurers sued GE Energy in Alabama state court. GE Energy removed the case to federal court under 9 U. S. C. §205. It then moved to dismiss and compel arbitration, relying on the arbitration clauses in the F. L. Industries and ThyssenKrupp contracts. The District Court granted the motion, concluding that both Outokumpu and GE Energy were parties to the agreement. The Eleventh Circuit reversed. It concluded that the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention or Convention) allows enforcement of an arbitration agreement only by the parties that actually signed the agreement and that GE Energy was a nonsignatory. It also held that allowing GE Energy to rely on statelaw equitable estoppel doctrines to enforce the arbitration agreement would conflict with the Convention’s signatory requirement.GE Energy Power Conversion France SAS v. Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC