A decision by the Florida state Supreme Court may set the precedent about nursing home lawsuits going through arbitration.
On September 22, the court said that regarding a lawsuit brought about due to injuries suffered by a nursing home patient did not need to go through arbitration.
The case, which was in Miami-Dade County, centered around the contract signed by Juan Mendez, Jr. for his father, Mendez Sr., when he entered the Hampton Court Nursing Center. Part of the contract for admission stated that any legal disputes would be handled through arbitration rather than going to court and potentially being decided by a jury.
In 2011, the elder Mendez suffered an infected that necessitated the removal of his left eye. The son filed a lawsuit against the facility in Miami-Dade circuit court on his father’s behalf. The nursing home subsequently argued that the case should go to arbitration.
The father passed away in 2013, but the case continued.
A judge with the 3rd District Court of Appel agreed with the nursing home’s opinion that the case should go to arbitration. However, in a 5-2 decision by the Supreme Court, the court said that the father could not be bound by an arbitration agreement that his son had signed on his behalf without his consent.
Many appeals courts across the state have been dealing with this very issue – the validity of arbitration agreements that nursing homes make their residents or their representatives sign at the time of admission.
If you or a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect while residing in a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the law office of Schenk Smith. Our attorneys will work hard to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.