A three-part investigative series from the NY Times reveals how hidden arbitration clauses in various contracts deprive Americans of their right to seek justice in court.
Arbitration is an alternative method of resolving disputes that does not rely on the legal system. Voluntary arbitration is when two parties voluntarily agree to submit their disagreement to a third party for resolution. Forced arbitration is when a company requires a new employee or consumer to agree to arbitration as a stipulation of employment or service. Forced arbitration clauses are found in a wide variety of contracts, from cell phone providers to nursing homes. The parties in forced arbitration waive their rights to sue, should a disagreement arise.
The practice of forced arbitration clauses gained popularity over a decade ago. A group of credit card companies and retailers came up with a plan to insulate themselves from costly lawsuits. It is now incredibly difficult for a person sue their bank or credit card company over excessive fees. Forced arbitration has effectively banned class-action lawsuits – which is realistically the only way for the public to fight illegal or deceitful business practices.
Nursing home arbitration allows healthcare providers to hide behind service contracts when problems arise.
Forced arbitration may directly affect people who require the use of a nursing home for themselves or a loved one. Many nursing home contracts now require an arbitration agreement as a stipulation for care and service. As one family discovered, the hidden arbitration clause in their nursing home contract kept them from holding the nursing home accountable in court after their loved one passed away from malnourishment and neglect. Because all arbitration proceedings are kept private, the details of the nursing home’s neglect and abuse were hidden from the public.
The Hollis Law Firm recommends using a nursing home facility that does not require arbitration for disputes. Nursing home arbitration further hurts families who have already suffered from nursing home abuse and neglect. If you suspect you or your loved one may be experiencing abuse or neglect from their healthcare providers, contact us today at (800) 701-3672.