Nursing home abuse

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

The Spread of Arbitration Agreements

October 9, 2017 by Carrie Capouellez

When we entrust our loved ones to nursing homes, we expect them to be treated with dignity and respect. In reality, many nursing home residents suffer abuse and neglect. When this occurs, victims and their families have the right to seek compensation by filing a lawsuit. Unfortunately for nursing home residents, the spread of arbitration agreements could take this right away from them.

What Is An Arbitration Agreement?

An arbitration agreement is part of a larger contract that states the parties involved in the contract are not able to file civil lawsuits against each other in the event of a dispute. Instead, parties must resolve disputes through arbitration. Arbitration is a process of resolving a legal dispute outside of court through a process called alternative dispute resolution. Third-party individuals called arbiters act similarly to a judge and hear arguments from both sides of the dispute. However, arbitration is different from lawsuits in court in that an arbiter’s decision regarding the dispute is binding and final.

When used in nursing home contracts, arbitration agreements prevent victims of nursing home abuse from having their cases heard in court. Many nursing home residents and their families are unaware of the arbitration clauses in their contracts until they try to file a lawsuit. Arbitration agreements are advantageous to nursing homes because arbitration is a much more cost effective way to resolve legal disputes. Arbitration also has the benefit of protecting the reputation of the facility because cases are not heard in court and records regarding the dispute are not made public.

The Spread of Arbitration Agreements

Under the Obama administration, a rule was proposed to prohibit nursing home facilities that received reimbursements from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) from requiring arbitration agreements as a condition upon admission. The rule was supposed to go into effect in December 2016, but was postponed because of the election. Now, some lawmakers are proposing new legislation that allows all nursing homes to use arbitration agreements. Residents who do not consent to arbitration agreements would be denied admission.

Get Help From A Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Nursing home residents that suffer abuse or neglect deserve to have their cases heard in court. Forced arbitration agreements are a huge violation of rights. If you or a loved one has experienced nursing home abuse or neglect, you will need an experienced attorney who can protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact the experienced nursing home abuse lawyers at Lopez McHugh LLP today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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