Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nursing homes and arbitration clauses in contracts


Emily Sachar has a number of interesting legal articles for retired people in the AARP Bulletin, and a particularly interesting one on p 25 of the June 2009 issue (the series is called “The Law: The Issue”) is “Can mandatory arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts be waived?” The link is here.

Admission to a nursing home is a taxing process for both the patient and his or her family, so it’s not surprising that fine print gets overlooked. And a common provision is giving up the right to sue, to agree to mandatory arbitration, as in cases of alleged neglect of mistreatment. Of course, states have oversight agencies (Adult Services) and ombudsmen, but in practice they may be difficult to use.

The case in the article involves a scheme to arrange a sale of a house to pay for the nursing home care. Emily advises that the family request an arbitration clause be removed from a contract.

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