Flint & Soyars PC
Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements
When the time comes for a loved one to go to a nursing home, it can be a very difficult process. Choosing the right facility with all of the amenities and services can be overwhelming. Once you’ve selected the facility you’ll be facing a mountain of paperwork and legal forms to sign. One common legal form in a nursing home lease contract is an arbitration agreement.
In this arbitration agreement it usually states that if the resident or their family wants to pursue legal action against the nursing home, it must be done through a 3rd party arbitration instead of going to court.
The problem with using an arbitrator is their costs are far greater than the average court fees. A recent wrongful death case cost the plaintiff more than $30,000 in fees. Arbitrations are also often done behind closed doors and therefore do not get the same exposure public trials do.
To protect people from these outrageous fees, the federal government is looking at enforcing new laws that control the way nursing homes present arbitration agreements to residents.
The regulations would ensure residents fully understand the details of an arbitration agreement as well as prevent these agreements from being mandatory to obtain residency.
While many support this movement, more than 30 congressmen and 15 state attorney generals say this is not enough, and are pushing for a complete ban of arbitration agreements. There are more than 50 advocate groups that agree with the proposed ban.
Critics of the movement claim arbitration is a good option for everyone because it can render a faster decision than a court. They also point out that arbitration agreements are common in other medical situations such as surgeries.
If you need to take legal action against a nursing home for any kind of abuse or neglect call the lawyers at Flint & Soyars. Whether a nursing home arbitration agreement was signed or not, you deserve compensation for the wrongs committed.