5525.23 Binding dispute resolution for contract controversies.

(A) The director of transportation may include in any construction contract a provision authorizing a binding dispute resolution method for any controversy subsequently arising out of the contract. The binding dispute resolution method may proceed only upon agreement of all parties to the controversy. If all parties do not agree to proceed to binding dispute resolution, a party having a claim against the department of transportation shall exhaust its administrative remedies specified in the construction contract prior to filing any action against the department in the court of claims.

No appeal from the determination of a technical expert lies to any court, except that the court of common pleas of Franklin county may issue an order vacating such a determination upon the application of any party to the binding dispute resolution if any of the following applies:

(1) The determination was procured by corruption, fraud, or undue means.

(2) There was evident partiality or corruption on the part of the technical expert.

(3) The technical expert was guilty of misconduct in refusing to postpone the hearing, upon sufficient cause shown, or in refusing to hear evidence pertinent and material to the controversy, or of any other misbehavior by which the rights of any party have been prejudiced.

(B) The director, not later than the first day of February of every year, shall provide the governor, the attorney general, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house of representatives with a written list detailing the claims resolved in the manner provided by division (A) of this section during the preceding calendar year.

(C) As used in this section, "binding dispute resolution" means a binding determination after review by a technical expert of all relevant items, which may include documents, and by interviewing appropriate personnel and visiting the project site involved in the controversy. "Binding dispute resolution" does not involve representation by legal counsel or advocacy by any person on behalf of any party to the controversy.

Effective Date: 06-29-2001