Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Nursing Home Residents to Be Protected from Arbitration

Published on Sep 29, 2016 at 4:43 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

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?

Just last November there was a case about a 100-year-old woman who was murdered in a nursing home. The case was blocked from court due to the arbitration clause. In another case, a 94-year-old woman died of a head wound that was the nursing home’s fault. Both families could legally do nothing about the deaths of their loved ones.

Instead, the cases were made public by The New York Times. Legal organizations like the American Association for Justice and Take Justice Back have continuously been fighting against forced arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts. It’s been a long road, but finally, after a ruling that was decided upon in court on September 28th, we’re delivering justice back to where it belongs—in the hands of long term care facility residents and their families. The ruling states that nursing homes will be barred from having arbitration clauses in resident contracts.

In a statement issued on the day of the rule, Senator Patrick Leahy said, “The sad reality is that today too many Americans must choose between forfeiting their legal rights and getting adequate medical care.” The rule was decided upon after officials in 16 states and the District of Columbia urged the U.S. government to cut funding from nursing homes that use the arbitration clause.

The U.S. hasn’t seen a major change like this to the federal funding of long term care facilities in over two decades. This is a huge step forward for everyone who has a loved one residing in a nursing home or similar type of facility. It’s also a huge step for American legal rights as a whole. When rights are given back to the people, our nation is able to become the best it can be.

For more information about forced arbitration or to find out what you can do to protect your loved ones who reside in long term care facilities, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Thomas Law Offices. Tad Thomas, Louisville, KY nursing home neglect lawyer, and his team of expert personal injury attorneys can help you obtain justice on behalf of your loved one.


Meet Your Team

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Legal & Firm News

End-of-Life Care and Your Rights in Illinois

As someone nears the end of their life—whether it be sudden or an expected decline, decisions will need to be made about allowable medical care, the person’s estate, and what their wishes are in terms of funeral services. While it’s normal for family members not to want to have those discussions, it’s imperative to have […]

Read More

University of Evansville Sued, Former Basketball Coach Accused of Sexual Harassment

A former student athletic trainer from the University of Evansville has filed a lawsuit against the Indiana institution, alleging sexual assault and a pattern of sexual harassment by a former basketball head coach.

Read More

Talc-Based Cosmetics and Asbestos Exposure

If you use any cosmetic products, you know just how many are on the market, and it can be hard to figure out which one’s you like and whether any will cause irritation. While skin irritation is something to be concerned about, there’s a worse health concern when it comes to talc-based cosmetics containing asbestos. […]

Read More