State v. P.G. Miron Construction Co

In State v. P.G. Miron Construction Co., 181 Wis. 2d 1045, 512 N.W.2d 499 (Wis. 1994), the court held that the statutory claims procedure was not applicable to arbitration because no lawsuit was initiated against the state when the contractor invoked its right to arbitration. 512 N.W.2d at 503. The court decided that there was no reason for it to determine whether the legislature expressly consented to arbitration because it was not a "suit" as the term is used in the context of the sovereign immunity doctrine. Id. The court defined "suit" as "any proceeding by one person or persons against another or others in a court of law in which the plaintiff pursues, in such court, the remedy which the law affords him for the redress of an injury or the enforcement of a right, whether at law or equity." Id. (quoting Black's Law Dictionary 1434 (6th ed. 1990)). The Miron court held that the enforcement of the arbitration award under the state's Arbitration Act, which governs implementation and execution of arbitration procedures in the state, is not appropriate in arbitration actions against the state because it is contrary to the statutory claims procedure required for claims against the state. Id. at 504. As such, "at the conclusion of the arbitration process, Miron must submit any claim it may want to assert against the state to the claims board for processing . . . ." Id. at 504.