Nursing Home Neglect Cases and Mandatory Arbitration

Any time there is suspicion of nursing home neglect or abuse, the families involved want to act quickly to protect the safety and rights of their loved one. Nursing home neglect cases can be emotionally taxing and complicated, and always benefit from the guidance of a nursing home neglect attorney. While there are state and federal laws designed to protect nursing home residents from neglect and abuse, recognizing and proving neglect or abuse can be a challenge.

Nursing Home Neglect Cases Affected by Fine Print

After recognizing signs or symptoms of neglect or abuse, many families are limited in their ability to take legal action due to the “fine print” found in many nursing home contracts. One of the most restrictive elements to these contracts is mandatory (forced) arbitration clauses. A mandatory arbitration clause takes away the resident and his or her family’s rights to sue the nursing home. Instead, many mandatory arbitration clauses require disputes to be resolved in private by an arbitrator, which is generally chosen by the nursing home. There are several problems with mandatory arbitration, including:

Possible End to Mandatory Arbitration

Advocates for patients and residents of nursing homes are in full support of a proposed rule that could put an end to mandatory arbitration. While some states have specific laws banning mandatory arbitration in favor of voluntary measures, the latest proposed rule, and other federal bills, could provide more widely applicable protection for nursing home residents and their families.

Proposed rules want to end or limit mandatory arbitration clauses in favor of voluntary clauses. Additionally, the latest proposed rule seeks a requirement that nursing homes must discuss voluntary arbitration clauses and be certain that the individual understands the clause prior to signing. This discussion must include the nursing home providing the individual with clear information that is applicable to their level of understanding and language, followed by a signature of acknowledgement.

Related Resources

Florida Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Discuss How to Report Elder Abuse

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Home Abuse in Miami