Seniors Move Closer to Being Protected From One-Sided Mandatory Arbitration in Long-Term Care

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Seniors Move Closer to Being Protected From One-Sided Mandatory Arbitration in Long-Term Care 

For Immediate Release: July 30, 2008

Contact: Amaya Smith
202-965-3500 x369

Washington, DC –Seniors and their families who have been harmed by mandatory arbitration in nursing home contracts overcame another hurdle in the fight to seek justice from negligent nursing home corporations as the House Judiciary Committee set to pass the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act (H.R. 6126) this week. 

This bill would stop nursing home corporations from burying mandatory arbitration clauses in the stack of papers that patients must sign in order to be admitted into a nursing home.  When families face the tragic neglect of a loved one due to negligent care, these clauses force families into a private system of justice in which the “judge” is picked by the corporation and families are left without any appeal.

Mandatory arbitration in nursing home contracts has a real life impact on American families every day.  Wisconsin resident David Kurth witnessed the one-sided system of mandatory arbitration first hand when a nursing home corporation refused to be held accountable for the neglect of his father, William Kurth.  David’s father suffered bedsores so severe they lead to his eventual death.  The nurse treating David’s father was found guilty of criminal negligence.  Even though the nursing home admitted responsibility to the Kurth family, they continue to hide behind a mandatory arbitration agreement.

“Our members speak for families who have been harmed by mandatory arbitration enforced by the very people that they trusted to protect the health and safety of their loved ones,” said American Association for Justice President Les Weisbrod.  “We want to ensure that that no other family has to suffer the compounded injustice suffered by the Kurth family and many others.”

“Mandatory arbitration agreements in nursing home contracts place families in an unfair system where corporations pick the players, make all the rules and leave families without any appeal.  Most importantly, it allows nursing home corporations to sweep their unlawful and negligent behavior under a rug and out of the public eye.”

For additional examples of how nursing home arbitration harms families please contract the AAJ press shop at 202-965-3500 x. 369.

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