Many nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities are owned and/or operated by billion-dollar corporations. The only objective of these corporations is to make a profit. Part of making a profit is not being held accountable in a court of law. For this reason, nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities often require or attempt to force the resident or his or her representative to sign a binding arbitration agreement.
These binding arbitration agreements take away the resident’s and his or her family’s right to a jury trial. The resident and his or her family are often forced to pay high-priced arbitrators to hear their cases. These arbitrators get repeat business from the nursing home claims. Ultimately, the right of the resident and his or her family to hold the nursing home or skilled nursing facility accountable is limited or lost altogether.
Nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities cannot force the resident or his or her loved ones to sign a binding arbitration agreement as a condition of admittance. If you or a loved one has already signed a binding arbitration agreement upon admission to the facility, you may still be able to rescind that agreement and maintain your right to hold the nursing home or skilled nursing facility accountable for any abuse and/or negligence that may occur.
Recently, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals held that nursing home binding arbitration agreements were unconstitutional. The Supreme Court Case of Clayton Brown v. Genesis Healthcare was argued by Harry Deitzler, attorney for Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler. Mr. Deitzler was successful in getting the WV Supreme Court to decide that these agreements are unconstitutional. According to Mr. Deitzler, “They lost one of the most common methods by which they avoid accountability.”
If you have concerns about an arbitration agreement or a binding arbitration agreement that you or a loved one may have signed, call one of our experienced attorneys to discuss your rights.