Despite Conservatorship from Another State, Daughter Had No Authority to Agree to Arbitration

June 14, 2019 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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In a case in which a resident died after falling at a nursing home, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania has found that the resident's daughter did not have authority to agree to arbitration on the resident's behalf. The appellate court so held even though the daughter had conservatorship for the resident in another state. The appellate court reversed the judgment of the lower court and remanded the case, allowing all the plaintiff's claims to proceed in the trial court.

The resident could not make his own decisions owing to his diagnoses of paranoid schizophrenia and advanced vascular dementia. Four days before the resident's admission, a California court granted the daughter temporary conservatorship of the resident. On his admission to the Pennsylvania nursing home, the daughter signed his admission paperwork. A box next to the word "Conservator" was checked, and an asterisk next to "Conservator" stated, "Copy of legal documents must be provided to Facility." The daughter also signed an arbitration agreement. Two months later, a Pennsylvania court appointed...

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