Arbitration agreements are proliferating in the senior care industry. Hundreds of nursing homes and assisted-living centers request that elderly people sign arbitration clauses on admission to limit their liability. Although many residents and their families find themselves lost in the fine print of these agreements, they often sign for fear of losing their place at the facility.
The clauses require residents to forfeit their right to a court hearing in cases involving abuse or neglect and sometimes even in cases of wrongful death, opting instead for a more secretive process for resolving claims.
However, the recent breakthrough federal rule barring some 15,000 long term care facilities who receive funding from medicare and medicaid from forcing residents and their families to sign arbitration agreements has called attention to the unfairness and lack of transparency of these clauses for many.
Families and their attorneys across the country are seeking to have arbitration clauses thrown out, particularly in cases where elderly residents appear or have been coerced into signing them.
In a recent case, the Kentucky Supreme Court summed it up for many when they refused to enforce arbitration agreements in three wrongful-death cases, ruling that legal representatives of nursing-homes lack the authority to waive another’s “God-given right” to a jury trial.
If you or a family member has been a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, contact the Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help. With over 30 years of experience holding nursing homes accountable, Attorney John Hemminger has help many Iowa families pursue justice on behalf of their loved ones. Call today at 515-283-2116.
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