Tips on Post-decision Inquiries (PDIs)

While prior articles have outlined what qualifies for post-decision review, about half of the post-decision inquiries (PDIs) submitted do not address a correctible clerical or jurisdictional error (Rule 4-2). We hope the following tips clarify submission guidelines for post-decision reviews.
  • Per the arbitration agreements administered by AF, decisions rendered are final and binding with no right to rehearing or appeal. While a party may believe the decision is unreasonable or wrong based on the information provided to the arbitrator, the decision is not subject to review.
  • AF may only correct clerical or jurisdictional errors (see Definition section of the AF Rules).
  • Before submitting a post-decision inquiry, ask yourself the following questions:
    • Do I disagree with the arbitrator’s interpretation of the facts presented regarding liability or damages? This is not a valid reason to submit a post-decision inquiry.
    • Did the arbitrator give credit for prior payment that has not been received or vice versa? Review the proof of payment (which is viewable) to verify if the payment has cleared or wait a few days if the payment was just issued.
    • Did the arbitrator make a math error? For example, they allowed $250 for an eight-day rental at $30. This is correctible.
    • Did the arbitrator clearly switch the parties? For example, did the arbitrator find liability to be 80 percent versus 20 percent, but flip the percentages when entering the Liability Percentage, or did they indicate a party was at fault for exiting a parking lot when it was not safe to do so but entered the Liability Percentage against the other party?
Below is an example of a recent post-decision inquiry that does not qualify for review:

Beta’s (Responder’s) Liability Arguments

Alpha’s insured stated, “I pulled out of my parking spot and started driving when the other car pulled out. I tried to swerve. I was traveling at 20 MPH.” The scene photograph shows the posted speed limit is 10 MPH. The evidence supports Alpha traveled at an unsafe speed, which contributed to the accident.

Arbitrator’s Decision

Beta is 100% liable; Beta contends Alpha was speeding in the parking lot. The photo from the parking lot shows a 10 MPH speed limit, but the speed was not proven to be excessive.

Here, the arbitrator clearly addressed the allegation of Alpha’s speed and the photo showing the speed limit. Evidence was not missed. Disagreeing with a decision based on the belief the arbitrator misunderstood the facts, misread the evidence, or failed to comment on a specific piece of evidence is not a clerical error.