Nursing home arbitration agreements are the new battleground in many nursing home neglect and nursing home abuse cases. Rather than trying to convince a judge or a jury that nursing home abuse or neglect is not taking place at the facility, nursing home administrators are trying to render the whole question moot. Arbitration agreements are the tools they are trying to use.
An arbitration agreement is simple to understand. Before being admitted to the nursing home, the resident is asked to sign a series of binding agreements stating that, in the event of nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse, the resident agrees not to sue the nursing home in court.
Instead, the case will go before a panel of “experts” who will determine whether or not abuse or neglect took place. In addition, the panel will also decide what penalty, if any, the nursing home should pay.
At first glance, these agreements probably don’t sound like a terrible idea, but the way the details work out makes it clear how slanted they are towards the nursing home. Most people who enter a nursing home do so under extreme stress. Often, they’ve been released from a hospital after an injury or serious illness and have few, if any, options. Other residents may simply have no understanding of how common and serious nursing home neglect is.
In other states like West Virginia, these types of agreements have been invalidated. It’s unfortunate for the nursing home residents of Virginia that a jury has seen fit to allow their use.
If you have a loved one who has been injured in an Illinois nursing home, contact our law firm for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. At my law offices we never charge a fee unless we earn a recovery for you.