In the Courts: Court Rules Survival Action Cannot Be Severed from Wrongful-Death Action and Arbitrated, Despite Valid Arbitration Agreement

March 25, 2016 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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Many states have wrongful-death acts and survival acts that allow negligence claims to be asserted after an individual's death. Wrongful-death acts allow the estate of the decedent to claim damages for the beneficiaries of the deceased. The survival act allows the estate to be awarded damages that the decedent could have recovered if he or she had survived (i.e., pain and suffering, lost earnings).

The Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld a trial court decision that declined to order both the plaintiff's wrongful-death and survival claims to arbitration, despite upholding as valid an agreement between the resident and defendant to arbitrate their disputes. Finding that the plaintiff's survival and wrongful-death actions must be consolidated, it also decided...

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