may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1994).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Tyrone R. Dahly, claimant,
Great West Casualty Company,
Filed November 26, 1996
Hennepin County District Court
File No. CT 95-16036
Jeffrey C. Schmidt, Stempel & Schmidt, P.L.C., 41 12th Ave. N., Hopkins, MN 55343 (for Appellant)
Michael F. Kelly, Jr., Faegre & Benson LLP, 2200 Norwest Center, 90 S. Seventh St., Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for Respondent)
Considered and decided by Huspeni, Presiding Judge, Norton, Judge, and Forsberg,[*] Judge.
Appeal from judgment confirming an arbitrator's award in a no-fault arbitration for wage loss under Minn. Stat. § 65B.44. Because an arbitrator has statutory authority to determine gross income, we affirm.
In September 1995, there was a no-fault arbitration of respondent's economic loss benefits pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 65B.525 (1994). The arbitrator awarded respondent $14,000 for wage loss and $754.33 for medical expenses. Appellant, his insurer, filed a motion in district court to vacate the arbitration award on the ground that the arbitrator exceeded the scope of his authority in determining respondent's gross income. The district court denied appellant's motion and issued an order for judgment and judgment confirming the arbitration award. This appeal followed.
Appellant argues that the arbitrator exceeded the scope of his authority because he interpreted the No-Fault Act in contravention of his powers and improperly calculated respondent's wage loss. Appellant cites Rindahl v. National Farmers Union Ins. Cos., 373 N.W.2d 294 (Minn. 1985), where the trial court determined income loss benefits for someone who was self-employed, to support the view a trial court must always make this determination. Appellant's reliance on Rindahl is misplaced. Rindahl is procedurally distinguishable in that the action was brought directly to the trial court rather than to an arbitrator; the trial court therefore had to determine gross income in order to resolve the case. Determining income is properly subject to arbitration, and an arbitrator has clear statutory authority to determine gross income in order to establish the amount of income loss benefits. See Minn. Stat. SSSS 65B.43, subd. 6; 65B.42(4); 65B.44, subd. 3; 65B.525, subd. 1; Minn. R. No-Fault Arb. 32 & 35. Moreover, case law establishes that making calculations to establish an amount or determine value under the No-Fault statutes is within the power of the arbitrator. See Great West Cas. Co., 511 N.W.2d at 35 (to the extent that an arbitrator's award determines the value of employment services, the arbitrator is acting within his or her power); Keim v. Farm Bureau Ins. Co., 482 N.W.2d 823, 825 (Minn. App. 1992), review denied (Minn. May 21, 1992) (determining amount of income loss is a proper question for the arbitrator).
"[A]n arbitrator is permitted to interpret the rules under which his decision is being made." Haekenkamp v. Allstate Ins. Co., 265 N.W.2d 821, 824 (Minn. 1978). A court of law cannot interfere with such an interpretation absent evidence that the arbitrator misapplied the law. Id.
Our decision that the arbitrator did not exceed his authority renders moot appellant's argument that the trial court made an overly broad statement of the law on the calculation of gross income; however, we find no merit in that argument.
[ ]* Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.