In a major victory for the rights of nursing home patients and their families,
an agency with the Health and Human Services Department has moved to prevent
any nursing home that receives federal funding from forcing patients and
their families into using arbitration to resolve claims of elder abuse,
sexual harassment, and wrongful death. According to
an article by The New York Times, the new rule will protect the rights of approximately 1.5 million nursing
home residents. This move is being described as “the most significant
overhaul of the agency’s rules governing federal funding of long-term
care facilities in more than two decades.”
This new rule will eliminate the need for families to choose between forfeiting
their legal rights and ensuring that their loved ones receive quality
Arbitration clauses deeply embedded in the fine print of nursing home admissions
contracts have caused the public to wonder about the quality of care provided
by many facilities. Arbitration has helped these facilities dramatically
reduce their legal expenses, but at the cost of keeping families from
obtaining justice after their loved one is injured, abused, or even killed.
Arbitration clauses, appearing in everything from nursing home contracts
to cell phone contracts, have long been criticized as enabling corporations
and businesses to get away with patterns of wrongdoing and hide potentially
embarrassing practices from the public eye. People who sign contracts
containing these clauses are stripped of their right to bring a lawsuit
in court; instead, any issues that arise must be handled privately with
the help of an arbitrator who, ironically, often has some interest in
the very entity the plaintiff is fighting. Unsurprisingly, this often
doesn’t end favorably for the victim.
If your loved one has been harmed while in the care of a nursing facility,
turn to The Maher Law Firm for a free evaluation of your case. We can
advise you on your legal options and help you take appropriate action
against the negligent nursing home.
Contact us today to speak with an Orlando nursing home abuse attorney.