Supreme Court Deems Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements Unenforceable

In a ruling on June 29, 2011 The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has issued orders stating that juries, rather than arbitrators, should be the decision makers in nursing home health care disputes. The issue was brought to light by three separate cases of nursing home neglect in which admission agreements were signed which contained an arbitration clause. Nursing home arbitration clauses, which are signed upon admission to the facility, require that any legal disputes regarding the care provided must be referred to arbitration rather then a jury trial.

In its June 29 ruling, the Supreme Court decided that arbitration agreements in these contracts were “unconscionable and unenforceable.”  The Court further determined that the Federal Arbitration Act was not applicable to nursing home admission agreements because the personal injury occurred after the signing of the contract. Generally the decision is being hailed as a victory of the right to a jury trial.  For more, read the story.



Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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