Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements and the Proposed Arbitration Fairness Act of 2011

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Nursing homes may attempt to include arbitration agreements among the stack of paperwork that they have patients or their families sign at the time of admission to the facility.  These arbitration agreements attempt to prevent jury trials in the event of subsequent lawsuits alleging injuries or death resulting from nursing home negligence. Instead, such disputes would be decided by arbitrators who are often chosen by the nursing home and subject to rules and procedures dictated by the nursing home.

Many people have no idea what they are signing at this very stressful time in their lives when they are focused on ensuring that their family member or loved one receives all necessary medical care.  As a result, family members may sign these arbitration agreements that have been carefully drafted by the nursing home's lawyers without even reading the documents and/or giving any thought whatsoever as to later ramifications. 

On or about May 12, 2011, Senators Al Franken (Democrat-Minnesota), Richard Blumenthal (Democrat-Connecticut) and Representative Henry Johnson (Democrat-Georgia) introduced identical bills in the United States Senate and House of Representatives known as the "Arbitration Fairness Act of 2011" that, if enacted, would (among other things) ban forced arbitration clauses in nursing home admission contracts.  The legislative process of this bill is still in the relatively early stages but given the present congressional make-up passage seems unlikely at least until the 2012 election cycle ends. 

Executed nursing home arbitration agreements typically are not even a precondition to the patient receiving treatment or services.  Hopefully, these forced arbitration clauses will be eliminated by Congress at some point in the future so that nursing home consumers and their surviving family members cannot be denied their day in Court.  
In the meantime, however, families should be careful not to sign such arbitration agreements even though these clauses may be hidden in fine print and difficult to understand. 

Please feel free to contact the nursing home neglect attorneys at Dever & Feldstein, LLC at (888) 825-9119 for a free consultation if you believe that a family member or loved one has sustained serious injury or wrongful death as a result of nursing home neglect including bedsores (also known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers), nursing home falls, dehydration/malnutrition or medication error/prescription mistakes.

 

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This page contains a single entry by David Feldstein published on March 7, 2012 12:34 PM.

Take Photographs of Bed Sores/Pressure Sores/Decubitus Ulcers was the previous entry in this blog.

Be Sure to Request Electronic Medical Records in Nursing Home Neglect Cases is the next entry in this blog.

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