Supreme Court Upholds Nursing Home Arbitration: What This Means for Abuse Claims
When you place a loved one into a nursing home and discover he's the victim of nursing home abuse and neglect, you want to hold the nursing home accountable for compensating him for his injuries. In May 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the legality of nursing home arbitration agreements. Here's how this important decision could impact your loved one's claim against the nursing home.
Case Ruling Affects Claims Against Nursing Homes
An arbitration agreement is an agreement in a contract to resolve any disputes or claims for compensation by going through binding arbitration—an hearing in front of an arbitrator—rather than a trial with a judge or jury in court.
In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a Kentucky Supreme Court decision that refused to uphold arbitration agreements in nursing home contracts. The families of two residents who died in care facilities filed lawsuits and argued that the arbitration agreements in their loved ones’ contracts weren't valid. In a 7-1 decision, the justices disagreed, and upheld that nursing homes can enforce arbitration agreements.
When you or a loved one signs a contract with a nursing home, it may include an arbitration agreement requiring you to resolve your family member’s claim through arbitration. This agreement may preclude you from filing a lawsuit. However, your loved one still has legal rights.
Here are considerations to keep in mind:
- This ruling doesn't mean your loved one wouldn't have a claim or that he or she wouldn't receive restitution for nursing home abuse or neglect. It just changes who makes the decision on the case if his or her attorney is unable to settle the claim.
- There are still many unresolved issues regarding binding and non-binding arbitration agreements and other issues that could result in the arbitration clause being invalid in your loved one’s case.
Given this recent court decision, it's even more important that you consult with an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney if you suspect a loved one is a victim of such a crime. Schedule your free consultation today: call our office or fill out our online form.
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