Woman Fights Nursing Home Arbitration After Her Step-Father's Death

The Boston Herald has been reporting on nursing home arbitration agreements, the following is an excerpt from a recent article:

One woman's stepfather is gone, but she hopes her battle with a nursing home over a document he signed while suffering from delusions and memory loss will shed light on what she called an “outrageous and deceptive” practice.  “I’m hoping people read about it and know what’s going on in these nursing homes,”she said.

Her stepfather died at age 93 after losing his eye in an injury at a nursing home in 2005. Two years later, She filed a complaint against the nursing home alleging negligence led to her father’s health decline (an infection that led to sepsis) and his death. She then learned her stepdad had signed an arbitration agreement in at the home when he was 91, waiving his right to a trial if he was injured or killed.

Arbitration agreements are becoming more common at nursing homes and they are costly and time-consuming to fight. The woman's attorney fought the agreement for two years until a judge ruled that her stepfather was “unable to act in a reasonable manner” when he signed the arbitration contract and that the nursing home had reason to be aware of his mental state.

The man's step-daughter said the lengthy legal battle has prevented her from feeling at peace. She doesn’t go to the cemetery. Instead, she remembers her stepdad with a prayer three times a week. “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and how he died. Maybe after everything is over then I can let him rest in peace,” she said. 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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