Plaintiff Attorneys Argue Healthcare Proxies Cannot Bind Residents to Arbitration Agreements

February 26, 2016 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Seeking to overcome arbitration clauses in nursing home admission agreements, plaintiff attorneys are increasingly arguing that healthcare proxies who sign the contracts cannot legally bind their loved ones to the arbitration agreements, according to a February 21, 2016, New York Times article. The authors use the case of a Massachusetts nursing home resident who was killed by her roommate in 2009 to illustrate the point. Although the resident's son's claims for wrongful death had been barred from court because of an arbitration clause in an agreement that he signed on the resident's behalf, a judge ruled in 2014 that his case could proceed because the resident herself had not signed the agreement.

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