Rights May Be Lost To Sue Nursing Homes, If Obama’s Rule Is Overturned
Deciding to place a loved one in a nursing home is no easy decision. There is no doubt that you’ve heard the various reports of nursing home residents being mistreated, neglected or abused, but you just don’t have the means to support your ailing loved one any longer. You’re almost out of options. And to make matters worse, your loved one will be required to sign a contract upon admittance that denies them the ability to take the nursing home to court if something terrible does happen, but rather your only option will be arbitration, where the odds are often stacked against you.
Well, in 2016, then-President Barack Obama signed a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rule to present the above scenario from happening. Obama’s rule would prevent any nursing home (that receives federal funding such as Medicare and Medicaid) from enforcing arbitration agreements.
But now, that rule is at risk of being overturned by President Donald Trump’s administration.
In an effort to fight back, 16 states and DC are pushing the Trump administration to protect nursing home residents’ right to take the negligent facilities to court.
D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine and state attorneys general for California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington all sent comments to CMS opposing its proposal to reverse coarse on the Obama-era rule
“Pre-dispute binding arbitration agreements in general can be procedurally unfair to consumers, and can jeopardize one of the fundamental rights of Americans; the right to be heard and seek judicial redress for our claims,” the attorneys said in their comments.
What Is Forced Arbitration?
Forced arbitration clauses have been acting as a legal shield for negligent nursing homes for years.
The clause is usually hidden deep within a stack of papers that is handed to a family fraught with worry over admitting their loved one to a nursing facility. Families are unaware they just signed away their right to take disputes over patient care to court.
Signing an arbitration agreement means that in the event that a dispute is not amicably resolved, you’ve agreed to bring the problem before professional arbitrators, rather than file a lawsuit against the company for negligence or wrongful death.
Neglect Inside Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are required by law to maintain the federal standards of care that are outlined in the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act. However, this does not always happen. A high number of nursing home residents are being injured and killed because of the negligence of these facilities. When this happens, both victims and their loved ones want and deserve answers.
Nursing home abuse and negligence comes in many different forms. We represent injured nursing home residents and the families of those wrongfully killed in cases involving the below, as well as many others.
Types of abuse can include, but aren’t limited to:
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
At The Carlson Law Firm, we believe in signature customer service. This means that we put our clients needs ahead of our own, always. Our staff of experienced trial attorneys and case managers is available 24/7 to answer any questions you might have about filing your lawsuit.
There is no cost to you to speak with us. The Carlson Law Firm works on a contingency fee basis. We only recover our fees if you receive compensation.
During your free legal consultation, we’ll answer your questions and provide clear advice on the next steps to take.
- Written by Jill Fowler