Illinois accident lawyer and Chicago nursing home lawyer providing FREE information to help those in need. Posted on Nov 18, 2013
As a nursing home attorney, I’ve seen forced arbitration have a tremendous impact on the lives of nursing home residents and their families. In many states, including Illinois, nursing homes have seen the value of inserting language into nursing home admission forms that takes away the rights of nursing home residents and their families from being able to sue nursing homes in the event of nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect.
The language frequently includes arbitration committees that include former nursing home administrators and other industry players. In Illinois, important questions involving nursing home arbitration contracts were settled when Carter v. SSC Odin Operating Company, LLC was filed by the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District in August of 2011.
The court found that a nursing home resident who signed an arbitration agreement would be bound by that agreement. However, an heir could still bring a wrongful death case against a negligent nursing home since that heir would not be bound by an agreement that the heir did not specifically sign.
Sadly, most nursing home lawsuits are also wrongful death lawsuits. Nursing home neglect, as it often exists, is very difficult to survive. Due to the insidious nature of nursing home neglect, the cavalry often arrives too late.
The American Association of Justice report clearly shows just how far these forced arbitration agreements have spread in our society. Far beyond credit cards and bank accounts, even buying a Starbucks card forces you to agree to an arbitration at the convenience of the corporation.
Read the report, and be careful what you sign. In one case cited in the report, a woman was manipulated out of almost $300,000. An arbitrator awarded her $5000 in her case, but then charged her over $10,000 in fees.