Nursing Home Arbitration

Most of the major nursing home chains are requiring new residents to sign Arbitration Agreements. These agreements waive the right to a jury trial, and any potential case will be tried in front of three attorney arbitrators. These Arbitration Agreements can be very complicated and stacked against the resident. Many of the agreements require that all parties follow by a particular set of evidentiary and discovery rules and not the North Carolina Rules of Evidence and Procedure. In some agreements, the nursing home chain actually tries to retain the right to file a lawsuit and deny that right to the residents. Abuse and neglect of the elderly happens in many of these chain homes, so these home are trying to avoid juries. Make sure that you read any documents carefully. If you can find a home without an Arbitration Agreement, you may want to consider it. If the home is trying to force one of those on you, they may anticipate and be familiar with such poor care.