Arbitration agreements are a major issue when it comes to nursing home facilities and how patients are able to resolve disputes with the facility. An arbitration agreement requires the parties to send any legal disputes through arbitration instead of the civil justice system. An arbitration proceeding involves a neutrally-selected arbitrator who hears evidence and determines the outcome of the litigation. The results are binding. If you or a loved one were required to sign an arbitration agreement involving a nursing home facility and are now seeking to hold the facility responsible for a personal injury, contact Maurer Law today to learn more about your rights from experienced Charlotte nursing home abuse lawyers.
In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman who fell when she was 81-years-old resulting in injuries that required surgery. She was then admitted to a rehab facility before being transferred to a long-term patient care facility. The plaintiff was her daughter who was required to sign a form before her mother could be admitted entitled “Business Contract” and which described her as “Responsible Party.” Her mother was listed as the “Resident.” According to the terms of the agreement, the Responsible Party was financially responsible for the Resident’s time at the center. It also contained a seven-part arbitration clause.
The plaintiff’s mother suffered several more falls including a fall that resulted in a broken hip necessitating surgery. She eventually died at the center. The plaintiff filed a personal injury complaint against the center listing negligence, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and a claim under North Carolina’s Statutory and Regulatory Rights Violations statute. The defendant responded with a motion to compel arbitration on the basis that the plaintiff agreed to arbitration when she signed the agreement as the responsible party. The trial court dismissed the motion to compel arbitration and granted dismissal of the plaintiff’s claim under the statute and claim for medical malpractice. The defendants appealed.