Advance Directive Does Not Grant Designated Agent Power to Bind Resident to Optional Arbitration Agreement

January 5, 2024 | Aging Services Risk Management

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A long-term care resident's daughter was designated as her mother's healthcare power of attorney by a healthcare advance directive executed in 2005. In 2017, the decedent was admitted as a resident of a long-term care facility, and her daughter signed the admission agreement. A mandatory arbitration agreement was also presented at the time of admission; the provisions of the arbitration agreement were discussed, and the daughter signed the agreement.

The resident died at the facility in 2020. The plaintiff sued the nursing home and its management company, alleging violations of the Illinois State Nursing Home Care Act and negligence pursuant to both the Survival Act and the Wrongful Death Act. The plaintiff claimed that the nursing home failed to provide appropriate care to prevent pressure sores despite the resident's high risk; as a result, the resident's condition deteriorated, leading to unnecessary pain and suffering that caused or contributed to her death. The nursing home filed a motion to dismiss and compel arbitration based on the mandatory arbitration agreement. The trial court...

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