Ultimately, Photopaint's estoppel argument is supported by nothing more
than it's passive reliance on the settlement discussions which were
pursued by the parties between October 2000 and July 2001. "However, the
mere fact that settlement negotiations have been ongoing between parties
is insufficient to estop a party from asserting the statute of
limitations as a defense." Beneficial, 1995 WL 324768 at *5 See also
Continental Ins. Co. of City of New York v. Fire Ass'n of Philadelphia
(6th Cir. 1945) 152 F.2d 239, 240-241; Center Ice of DuPage, Inc. v.
Burley's Rink Supply, Inc. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 20, 1997)1997 WL 534256, *6
n. 6; Alston v. Blue Streak Transportation Co. (E.D. Pa. April 12, 1989)
1989WL 35449, *2; Hollins v. Yellow Freight Systems, Inc. (N.D. ill.
1984) 590 F. Supp. 1023, 1028. Since Photopaint has failed to demonstrate
that the Respondents either assured it that they would settle the
matter, misrepresented the scope and nature of the agreed upon extensions
of the rescission deadline, or otherwise engaged in any conduct which
lulled Photopaint into reasonably believing that it did not need to press
forward with the summary confirmation of its arbitration award before the
one-year statute of limitations had run, we find that estoppel would not
be justified under the circumstances.
In sum, because Photopaint failed to file its petition to confirm the
Final Award under 9 U.S.C. § 9 within one year of the date upon which
the award was made and because Photopaint has failed to provide any
evidence which would establish that the Respondents should be equitably
estopped from relying on the limitations defense or that the limitations
period should be equitably tolled, we grant the Respondents' cross-motion
for summary judgment and dismiss Photopaint's petition on the grounds
that it is time-barred. In accordance with our dismissal of its action,
we must also deny Photopaint's motion to confirm the arbitration award
under 9 U.S.C. § 9.
For the foregoing reasons, we hereby grant the Respondents'
cross-motion for summary judgment, dismiss Photopaint's petition on the
grounds that it is time-barred, and, having thereby dismissed its
action, accordingly deny Photopaint's motion to confirm the arbitration