Nursing home abuse

Supreme Court To Consider Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements

November 21, 2016 by James McHugh, Jr.
Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements

For victims of nursing home abuse, the right to have their complaints heard in a court is incredibly important. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents unknowingly sign away their rights to bring lawsuits against negligent nursing homes via arbitration agreements. Agencies like the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are working to give rights back to nursing home residents, and a final decision from the U.S. Supreme Court could put the issue to bed.

Last Month, CMS issued a final rule prohibiting nursing homes accepting Medicare and Medicaid payments from including arbitration clauses in admission agreements for residents. This rule is set to take effect at the end of November. In response to the rule, a leading nursing home company filed a lawsuit alleging the new rule is unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court is set to hear the case.

What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a method of alternative legal dispute resolution where a legal issue is heard by a panel of “arbiters” working in a capacity similar to a judge. However, arbitration and any resulting settlements are strictly confidential; and, unlike lawsuits the resolution is final. With no appeals process and the details kept secret, arbitration is not always the best way to resolve legal disputes.

How Could A Ruling Against Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements Help Abuse Victims?

In order to protect themselves from lawsuits, nursing home facilities began entering into arbitration agreements with residents. These agreements mean that any time a legal dispute arises, residents are not allowed to bring lawsuits, but must instead go through arbitration to settle the dispute. Unfortunately, this process keeps many cases of gross negligence and wrongful death happening in nursing homes across the country hidden.

If the Supreme Court sided with the CMS against nursing home arbitration agreements, residents suffering nursing home abuse and their families could not only receive compensation for injuries, but also make their complaints public. With the threat of litigation, nursing homes and their staff would be forced to shape up and deliver the standard of care expected, or else suffer costly lawsuits.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers For Philadelphia Families

If you suspect your loved one is showing warning signs of nursing home abuse, contact the experienced elder abuse attorneys at Lopez McHugh LLP today. Our lawyers can confront the negligent parties in court and make sure your loved one receives compensation for their injuries. Call us today for a free consultation.

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