Nightmare on High Street: The Haunting Effects of Voluntary Arbitration in Nursing Home Administration
“Ring…Ring…Ring…” It is one o’clock in the morning. The buzz of your phone wakes you from your sleep. You roll over and check to see who could be calling at this hour. You do not recognize the number, but you answer anyway. The words racing from the voice on the other end of the line are too horrific to be true, but they are. Your dreams suddenly turn into a real-life nightmare as you learn that your loved one waits in a hospital room, fighting for their life. You rush to their bedside. You are with them when they die. “How could this happen?” A nursing home is supposed to be a place of safety. Yet the mysterious nature of your loved one’s injuries leaves you with more questions than answers. Perplexed by the circumstances surrounding their death, you hire a lawyer. While the investigation reveals significant negligence by the nursing home, it also reveals a signed voluntary arbitration agreement. The agreement holds your signature. At the time, you assumed that it was just another piece of paper required for admission. Now, with one pen stroke, your loved one’s most fundamental guarantee, the right to a civil jury trial, has disappeared.
Taylor M. Harrington,
Nightmare on High Street: The Haunting Effects of Voluntary Arbitration in Nursing Home Administration,
87 Mo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/mlr/vol87/iss3/14