Plaintiff filed an order to show cause and verified complaint seeking an order of arbitration. The matter was heard on the return date of the show cause order. The facts as revealed in the verified complaint indicate that plaintiff entered into a contract or contracts with defendant contractors for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant. The work was awarded to defendants in the following manner:
Contract 4A -- General construction -- Heuer, Inc.
Contract 4B -- Structural steel -- Wander Iron Works, Inc.
Contract 4C -- Plumbing -- C-K Air Conditioning, Inc.
Contract 4D -- Heating/Ventilating -- Sarbo, Inc.
Contract 4E -- Electric -- Molnar Electrical Contractors, Inc.
While each contractor had a separate contract with plaintiff dealing with the specific work to be performed by the contractor, the contracts contained many of the same terms. One such common term related to arbitration and provided:
It is mutually agreed that any matters of controversy involving time or financial consideration that cannot be settled by the parties to this Contract shall be submitted to arbitration and that the award of the arbitrators, except when reached by fraud or mistake, shall be binding upon both parties.
Should there be any dispute or any questioned decision of the Owner or Engineer which is subject to arbitration, it shall be promptly submitted to arbitration upon demand by either party to the dispute. The Contractor shall not delay the work because arbitration proceedings are pending unless he shall have written permission from the Owner to do so, and such delay shall not extend beyond the time when the arbitrators shall have had the opportunity to determine whether the work shall continue or be suspended pending decision by the arbitrators of such a dispute. Any demand for arbitration shall be in writing and shall be delivered by the Owner and the adverse party either by personal delivery or by registered mail addressed to the last known address of each within ten (10) days of receipt of the Owners decision, and in no event after final payment has been made and accepted. Should the Owner fail within a reasonable period to make a decision, a demand for arbitration may then be made as if the Owner's decision had been rendered against the party demanding arbitration.
No one shall be qualified to act as an arbitrator who has directly or indirectly, any financial interest in the Contract or who has any business or family relationship with the Owner, the Contractor, or the Engineer. Each arbitrator selected shall be qualified by experience and knowledge of the work involved in the matter to be submitted to arbitration.
Arbitration shall be by and in accordance with the procedure and standards of the American ...