The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that a deceased Kentucky nursing home resident’s purported agreement to arbitrate against the facility does not block wrongful death claims brought on behalf of his estate. The Court rejected arguments by Richmond Health Facilities – Kenwood and Preferred Partners, Inc. that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) gave them a right to compel arbitration of wrongful claims brought by the family of former resident Mr. Nichols. Under Kentucky law, as in California, wrongful death claims belong to the beneficiaries and are separate and distinct from any claims of the decedent.

“At its heart, this case is not about preemption; it is about consent,” Circuit Judge Damon Keith wrote for the panel.  The FAA, “does not force arbitration on a party that never agreed to arbitrate in the first place.”

Forced arbitration agreements are bad for patients and consumers. York Law Firm recommends that residents, patients and families do not sign arbitration clauses. You have the right to decline an arbitration clause.

York Law Firm is comprised of Sacramento based lawyers that handle elder abuse and wrongful death cases. If you believe your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse or neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or believe your family has a wrongful death claim, please call our office so that we can investigate your case at 916-643-2200 or contact us online. We are dedicated to representing families whose elders and dependent adults have been injured, neglected or abused.

 

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