Wesleyan University v. Rissil Construction Associates, Inc

In Wesleyan University v. Rissil Construction Associates, Inc., 1 Conn. App. 351, 472 A.2d. 23 (1984), one factually similar to the instant matter, the University contracted with a prime to supervise construction of a new campus building. The prime entered into a subcontract with defendant to perform certain work as required for the construction. The University was not a signatory to the subcontract. The issue before the court as stated by the Chief Presiding Judge writing for the court was: "The sole question upon appeal is whether Wesleyan, which has agreed to arbitrate with ENF (the prime) all claims arising out of, or relating to, the contract between them is required . . . to arbitrate claims with Rissil (the defendant) arising out of a subcontract to which Wesleyan was not a party." 472 A.2d. at 24. The court went on to state at page 25 as follows: "Arbitration is a creature of contract and without a contractual agreement to arbitrate there can be no arbitration. Even though it is the policy of the law to favor settlement of disputes by arbitration, arbitration agreements are to be strictly construed and such agreement should not be extended by implication . . . the basis for arbitration in a particular case is to be found in the written agreement between the parties . . . persons thus cannot compel arbitration of a disagreement between or among parties who have not contracted to arbitrate the disagreement between or among themselves . . . Wesleyan never contracted with Rissil. Because of this one salient fact Rissil may not arbitrate its dispute if any with Wesleyan."