For years, the nursing home industry has attempted to evade responsibility for injuries to their residents by including forced arbitration clauses in their contracts (typically in fine print) which remove the right to file a lawsuit to recover for injuries and, instead, require any grievances to be brought before an arbitration panel typically aligned with the nursing home industry.

In an American Association for Justice (AAJ) article that appeared back on September 28, 2016, the Association cited the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid’s announcement of a final rule regulating nursing homes.  AAJ’s President Julie Braman Kane stated:

“The days of nursing homes using forced arbitration agreements to evade accountability and force residents and their families into signing away their legal rights are nearing an end.  Today the Obama administration finalized regulations prohibiting pre-dispute arbitration clauses, taking a tremendous step toward protecting nursing home residents by ensuring that they can hold facilities accountable in cases of abuse or neglect.

“Families harmed by nursing homes united with a wide array of advocates for seniors and consumer groups to urge CMS to prohibit pre-dispute arbitration, and their voices were heard. Today’s rule will ensure that arbitration is truly voluntary by permitting its use only after a dispute arises.

“This will greatly improve patient safety at nursing homes and restore the rights of nursing home residents and their families.”

The American Association for Justice works to preserve the constitutional right to trial by jury and to make sure people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they are injured by the negligence or misconduct of others—even when it means taking on the most powerful corporations. If you wish to read more about the good work done by AAJ, visit http://www.justice.org.