Unsigned Third Arbitration Agreement Voided Agreements from Earlier Admissions, 6th Circuit Finds

December 13, 2019 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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In a case stemming from the death of a nursing home resident after he fell from bed, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has found that none of the three identical arbitration agreements presented to the resident could be enforced because the third arbitration agreement was unsigned. The court so held even though the first two agreements were arguably signed and all three contained a clause indicating that they remained in effect through subsequent admissions. Thus, the court affirmed the denial of the nursing home's petition to compel arbitration.

The nursing home's practice was to present a new, unsigned copy of the admissions packet on each admission, even for residents who had been admitted before. The resident was admitted to the nursing home three times over 18 months. Each time, the nursing home presented him with a new copy of the admissions packet, which included an arbitration agreement. The arbitration agreement was identical across all three admissions and contained a clause stating that...

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