For years, nursing home contracts nationwide have contained dangerous arbitration clauses that force nursing home and long term care facility residents to give up one crucial legal right—the right to take that facility to court if a resident’s health or safety becomes compromised. These clauses were often inserted into resident contracts for federally-funded nursing homes and care facilities in order to cut costs. Specifically, legal costs.
The most unfortunate part about these arbitration clauses is the fact that most residents and their family members are unaware of them completely. When a family makes the decision to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home, the last thing they’re thinking about is the possibility of having to go to court. This is a stressful and emotional time for families. When nursing homes hide these clauses in the tiny print of admittance contracts, most family members don’t even realize what they’re signing.
It’s a downright sneaky move—one that costs lives. Every year we hear stories about nursing home residents who are abused, neglected, and even killed in some cases due to carelessness or negligence. When residents and their loved ones can’t legally do anything to protect the residents from negligence, what’s stopping nursing home staff members from getting away with whatever they can?